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Proceedings of the 
Massachusetts Historical 

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Committee of Publication, 



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mulpxstHs historical Sbcirig. 

Second Sekies. — Vol. XVIII. 

1903, 1904 

^ubitsijefc at tfje (Efjarge of tlje SSSaterston Publishing JimS, 




SBtafocrsttg ^rcss: 
John Wilson and Son, Cambridge. 



In this volume is comprised the record of eleven 
stated meetings, from November, 1903, to December, 
1904, both inclusive. Among the communications which 
will immediately arrest attention are the paper by the 
President on Queen Victoria and Our Civil War; 
Hamilton's Notes of the Debates in the Federal Con- 
vention of 1787, communicated by Mr. Ford ; the bio- 
graphical sketches of Rev. Samuel Langclon by Mr. 
Sanborn and of General John Thomas by Mr. Lord; 
Mr. Schouler's account of the Massachusetts Con- 
vention of 1853 ; and Mr. Livermore's paper on the 
Numbers in the Confederate Army. There are also 
appreciative tributes to members who have died during 
the year, including Theodor Mommsen, William E. H. 
Lecky, Sir Leslie Stephen, and Edward McCrady on 
the Honorary or Corresponding Rolls; and George H. 
Monroe, Egbert C. Smyth, E. Winchester Donald, George 
F. Hoar, Henry W. Taft, John S. Brayton, and Samuel 
E. Herrick among the Resident Members ; besides the 
usual number of hitherto unpublished documents and 
other interesting communications. Memoirs and por- 


traits of seven deceased members will likewise be found 
in the volume, — Edward Everett, Roger Wolcott, Horace 
Gray, Henry S. Nourse, Edward L. Pierce, Edmund 
Quincy, and Paul A. Chadbourne. The portrait of Mr. 
Everett, which stands as the frontispiece, is from an oil 
painting by Gilbert Stuart Newton, now in the posses- 
sion of Mr. Everett's nephew, Rev. Dr. Edward E. Hale. 
This portrait is believed to have been painted in London 
in the summer of 1818, as both Mr. Everett and Mr. 
Newton were in England at that time and apparently 
saw much of each other, — Mr. Newton even planning to 
go down to Liverpool with Mr. Everett when the latter 
sailed for home to assume the duties of the Greek Pro- 
fessorship in Harvard College. The other portraits are 
from photographs furnished by relatives of the members 

For the Committee, 


Boston, February 11, 1905. 



Preface v 

List of Illustrations . , xiii 

Officers elected April 14, 1904 . xv 

Resident Members xvi 

Honorary and Corresponding Members xviii 

Deceased xx 


Remarks by the President, in announcing the deaths of 
William E. H. Lecky, Theodor Mommsen, George H. 

Monroe, and Edward McCracly 1 

Tribute to George H. Monroe, by Franklin B. Sanborn . . 5 

Tributes to Edward McCrady 

By Albert B. Hart 10 

By Daniel H. Chamberlain 13 

Tribute to William E. H. Lecky, by James F. Rhodes ... 22 

Tribute to Theodor Mommsen, by Carl Schurz .... 26 

Paper on The Massachusetts Convention of 1853, by James 

Schouler 30 

Paper on The Louisiana Purchase, by Josiah P. Quincy . . 48 




Remarks b} r the President in announcing the death of Henry 

S. Nourse 60 

Paper by Andrew McF. Davis, on the Prospectus of Black- 
well's Bank, 1687 63 

Paper by James F. Hunnewell, on Another Bunker's Hill . 81 
Paper on Paul Revere's Portrait of Washington, by Charles 

H. Hart 83 

Memoir of Roger Wolcott, by William Lawrence .... 86 
Memoir of Edward Everett, communicated by W t illiam 

Everett 91 


Memorial to Congress for the preservation of the Frigate Con- 
stitution 118 

Remarks b} T Alfred T. Mahan 121 

Paper by the President on Queen Victoria and Our Civil War 123 

Memoir of Horace Gray, by George F. Hoar 155 


Remarks by the President 188 

Correspondence relative to the Frigate Constitution .... 189 

Biographical Sketch of Rev. Samuel Langdon, by Franklin 

B. Sanborn 192 

Remarks by James F. Rhodes, on the meeting of the Ameri- 
can Historical Association at New Orleans 232 

Remarks by James F. Hunnewell, on the Pelham Club 

Portraits 238 

Remarks by Samuel S. Shaw, in communicating letters of 

Henry Phillips and Thomas Hutchinson 239 

Remarks by Edmund F. Slafter, on The Landing of the 

Hessians 243 

— — : 




Tributes to Sir Leslie Stephen, K. C. B. 

By Charles E. Norton 253 

B} r the President 254 

Remarks by Charles E. Norton, in communicating some 
unpublished letters of Rev. Samuel Locke and other 
documents 257 


Remarks by the President, in announcing the death of Egbert 

C. Smyth 264 

Report of the Council 265 

Report of the Treasurer 271 

Report of the Auditing Committee 285 

Report of the Librarian 286 

Report of the Cabinet-Keeper 287 

Report of the Committee on the Library and Cabinet . . . 288 

Officers elected 289 

Memoir of Henry S. Nourse, by Samuel S. Shaw .... 292 


Tribute to Egbert C. Smyth, by Alexander McKenzie . . 297 
Remarks by Josiah P. Quincy, in communicating some letters 

of Miss Anna Cabot Lowell 302 

Remarks by Franklin B. Sanborn, in communicating a letter 

from Capt. Nathaniel Folsom . 317 

Remarks by Samuel A. Green, descriptive of The Boston 

Magazine . 326 

Remarks by the President, on the attempt to preserve the 

Frigate Constitution 330 




Remarks by Edward E. Hale, on the manuscripts in the 

Library of Congress . ■ 334 

Remarks b}^ James De Normandie, in communicating Some 

Notes from an Old Parish Record Book 340 

Paper by Worthington C. Ford, on Hamilton's Notes on the 

Convention of 1787 348 

Memoir of Edward L. Pierce, by James F. Rhodes . . . 363 


Remarks by the President, on the tercentenary celebrations 
in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and in announcing 
the deaths of E. Winchester Donald, Henry W. Taffc, 

George F. Hoar, and John Foster Kirk ...... 370 

Tribute to E. Winchester Donald, by Alexander V. G. Allen 379 

Tribute to George F. Hoar, by Henry Cabot Lodge . . . 385 
Tribute to Henry W. Taft, by James M. Barker . . . .390 

Letter from William A. Courtenay 393 

Paper by Charles H. Hart, on John Norman, Engraver . . 394 

Memoir of Edmund Quincy, by Josiah P. Quinct .... 401 


Remarks by the President, in announcing the death of John S. 

Brayton 417 

Tribute to John S. Brayton, bj' William W. Crapo . . . . 418 

Biographical Sketch of General John Thomas, by Arthur 

Lord 419 

Paper by Thomas L. Livermore, on The Numbers in the 

Confederate Army 432 

Remarks by Charles K, Bolton, in communicating an auto- 
biography of Joseph C. Dyer 444 

Memoir of Paul A. Chadbourne, by James M. Barker . . 448 




Remarks by the President, in announcing the death of Samuel 

E. Herrick 454 

Tribute to Samuel E. Herrick, by Alexander McKenzie . . 455 

Paper by James Schouler, on the Calhoun, Jackson, and 

Van Buren Papers 459 

Paper by James F. Rhodes, on Negro Suffrage and Recon- 
struction 465 

Paper by Samuel A. Green, on Rev. Joseph Eliot, of Guil- 
ford, Conn . . 467 

List of Donors to the Library 473 

Index 477 



Portrait of Edward Everett Frontispiece 

Portrait of Roger Wolcott 86 

Portrait of Horace Gray 155 

Portrait of Henry S. Nourse 292 

Portrait of Edward L. Pierce 363 

Portrait of Edmund Quincy 401 

Portrait of Paul A. Chadbourne 448 





Elected April 14, 1904. 


$ ice- |p residents. 

SAMUEL A. GREEN, LL.D . Boston. 


fUtororag Jfomtarg. 
EDWARD J. YOUNG, D.D . Waltham. 

Corresponobg Seroterg. 


SAMUEL A. GREEft, LL.D Boston. 


SSUmbers at ITarge of t\z Council. 

WILLIAM R. THAYER, A.M Cambridge. 





A dditional Member of the Council. 




Hon. Samuel Abbott Green, LL.D. 
Charles Eliot Norton, D.C.L. 

Rev. Edward Everett Hale, D.D. 

Josiah Phillips Quincy, A.M. 

Henry Gardner Denny, A.M. 

Charles Card Smith, A.M. 

Abner Cheney Goodell, A.M. 
Edward Doubleday Harris, Esq. 

Winslow Warren, LL.B. 
Charles William Eliot, LL.D. 

Charles Francis Adams, LL.D. 
William Phineas Upham, A.B. 

Hon. William Everett, LL.D. 
Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge, LL.D. 

John Torrey Morse, Jr., A.B. 

Gamaliel Bradford, A.B. 
Rev. Edward James Young, D.D. 


Robert Charles Winthrop, Jr., A.M. 
Henry Williamson Haynes, A.M. 

Thomas Wentworth Higginson, LL.D. 

Rev. Henry Fitch Jenks, A.M. 
Rev. Edmund Farwell Slafter, D.D. 
Hon. Stephen Salisbury, A.M. 
Rev. Alexander McKenzie, D.D. 

Arthur Lord, A.B. 
Frederick Ward Putnam, A.M. 
James McKellar Bugbee, Esq. 

Hon. John Elliot Sanford, LL.D. 
Edward Channing, Ph.D. 

William Watson Goodwin, D.C.L. 
Rev. Alexander Viets Griswold 
Allen, D.D. 

Solomon Lincoln, A.M. 
Edwin Pliny Seaver, A.M. 

Albert Bushnell Hart, LL.D. 
Thornton Kirkland Lothrop, LL.B. 

Henry Fitz-Gilbert Waters, A.M. 
Abbott Lawrence Lowell, LL.B. 

Hon. Oliver Wendell Holmes, LL.D. 
Henry Pickering Walcott, M.D. 

George Spring Merriam, A.M. 



Hon. Charles Russell Codman, LL.B. 
Barrett Wendell, A.B. 
James Ford Rhodes, LL.D. 

Hon. Edward Francis Johnson,LL.B. 
Rt. Rev. William Lawrence, D.D. 
William Roscoe Thayer, A.M. 

Rev. Morton Dexter, A.M. 
Hon. Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, 

Hon. William Wallace Crapo, LL.D. 


Hon. Francis Cabot Lowell, A.B. 
Granville Stanley Hall, LL.D. 
Alexander Agassiz, LL.D. 
Hon. James Madison Barker, LL.D. 
Col. Theodore Ayrault Dodge. 


Thomas Corwin Mendenhall, LL.D. 
Rev. Leverett Wilson Spring, D.D. 
Col. William Roscoe Livermore. 
Hon. Richard Olney, LL.D. 
Lucien Carr, A.M. 


Rev. George Angier Gordon, D.D. 
John Chipman Gray, LL.D. 
Rev. James De Normandie, D.D. 
Andrew McFarland Davis, A.M. 


Archibald Cary Coolidge, Ph.D. 
John Noble, LL.D. 
Charles Pickering Bowditch, A.M. 
Rev. Edward Henry Hall, D.D. 

James Frothingham Hunnewell, 

Hon. Daniel Henry Chamberlain, 

Melville Madison Bigelow, LL.D. 

Thomas Leonard Livermore, Esq. 
Nathaniel Paine, A.M. 
Charles Gross, Ph.D. 
John Osborne Sumner, A.B. 
Arthur Theodore Lyman, A.M. 
Samuel Lothrop Thorndike, A.M. 

Edward Henry Strobel, A.B. 
Henry Lee Higginson, LL.D. 
Brooks Adams, A.B. 
Grenville Howland Norcross, LL.B. 
Edward Hooker Gilbert, A.B. 
John Carver Palfrey, A.M. 

Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, A.B. 
Charles Knowles Bolton, A.B. 
Samuel Savage Shaw, LL.B. 
Ephraim Emerton, Ph.D. 
Waldo Lincoln, A.B. 
Frederic Jesup Stimson, LL.B. 
Edward Stanwood, Litt.D. 
Moor field Storey, A.M. 

Thomas Minns, Esq. 
Roger Bigelow Merriman, Ph.D. 
Charles Henry Dalton, Esq. 
Charles Homer Haskins, Ph.D. 

Don Gleason Hill, A.M 

John Davis Long, LL.D, 


David Masson, LL.D. 

Hon. Carl Schurz, LL.D. 

Rt. Hon. James Bryce, D.C.L. 

Rt. Hon. Sir George Otto Trevelyan, 
Bart., D.C.L. 

Pasquale Villari. 

Henry Charles Lea, LL.D. 

Adolf Harnack. 
Rt. Hon. John Morley, LL.D. 
Goldwin Smith, D.C.L. 

Ernest Lavisse. 


Hon. John Bigelow, LL.D. 
Hubert Howe Bancroft, A.M. 

Gustave Vapereau. 

John Austin Stevens, A.B. 
Joseph Florimond Loubat, LL.D. 
Charles Henry Hart, LL.B. 


Franklin Bowditch Dexter, Litt.D. 

John Marshall Brown, A.M. 

Hon. Andrew Dickson White, LL.D. 



Sir James McPherson Le Moine. 
Henry Adams, LL.D. 

Rev. Henry Martyn Baird, D.D. 

Rev. Charles Richmond Weld, LL.D. 


Hon. William Ashmead Courtenay, 


John Andrew Doyle, M.A. 



Abbe Henry Raymond Casgrain, 

Litt. D. 
Alexander Brown, D.C.L. 

Capt. Alfred Thayer Mahan, D.C.L. 

Hon. James Burrill Angell, LL.D. 
William Babcock Weeden, A.M. 
Richard Garnett, LL.D. 

Rev. George Park Fisher, D.D. 
Woodrow Wilson, LL.D. 
Hon. Joseph Hodges Choate, D.C.L. 

Frederic William Maitland, LL.D. 
John Franklin Jameson, LL.D. 

Rev. William Cunningham, LL.D. 

Hon. Simeon Eben Baldwin, LL.D. 
John Bassett Moore, LL.D. 
Hon. John Hay, LL.D. 

Daniel Coit Gilman, LL.D. 
Frederic Harrison, M.A. 
Frederic Bancroft, LL.D. 
Charles Harding Firth, LL.D. 
William James Ashley, M.A. 

Edward Gay lord Bourne, Ph.D. 
John Bach McMaster, Litt.D. 
Albert Venn Dicey, LL.D. 
Reuben Gold Thwaites, LL.D. 
John Christopher Schwab, Ph.D. 
Worthington Chauncey Ford, Esq. 

Rev. Arthur Blake Ellis, LL.B. 
Auguste Moireau. 
Hon. Horace Davis, LL.D. 

Sidney Lee, Litt.D. 
Frederick Jackson Turner, Ph.D. 
Sir Spencer Walpole, K.C.B. 

William Archibald Dunning, Ph.D. 
James Schouler, LL.D. 


Members who have died, or of whose death information has been received, since the last 

volume of Proceedings was issued, December 21, 1903, arranged in the 

order of their election, and with date of death. 


Rev. Egbert Coffin Smyth, LL.D April 12, 1904. 

Hon. George Frisbie Hoar, LL.D Sept. 30, 1904. 

Rev. Samuel Edward Herrick, D.D. Dec. 4, 1904. 

Henry Walbridge Taft, A.M Sept. 22, 1904. 

Hon. John Summerfield Brayton, LL.D Oct. 30, 1904. 

Rev. Elijah Winchester Donald, D.D. ...... Aug. 6, 1904. 

[The Resident Membership of Rev. Arthur Latham Perry, LL.D., was terminated by 
resignation Dec. 8, 1904, and that of James Scbpuler, LL.D., was terminated Dec. 27, 1904, 
by his removal from Massachusetts.] 


John Foster Kirk, LL.D Sept. 21, 1904. 

Hermann von Hoist, Ph.D Jan. 20, 1904. 

Sir Leslie Stephen, K.C.B., LL.D Feb. 22, 1904. 





THE stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 12th in- 
stant, at three o'clock, p. m. ; the President, Charles 
Francis Adams, LL.D., in the chair. 

The record of the October meeting was read and approved ; 
and the usual monthly reports were presented, the Librarian's 
report covering a period of two months. 

Mr. Moorfield Storey was elected a Resident Member. 

A letter was read from the chairman of the State House 
Commission, asking for suggestions as to a public memorial or 
memorials of John Adams, second President of the United 
States, and of John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the 
United States ; and in accordance with a recommendation of 
the Council it was 

Voted, That Messrs. Hoar, Hale, and Norton be a Com- 
mittee to represent the Society in the matter of a memorial 
or memorials to John Adams, the second President of the 
United States, and John Quincy Adams, the sixth President 
of the United States, both former members of the Society, in 
compliance with the invitation of the State House Commission 
of October 19, 1903. 

The President said: — 

In that biography of Gladstone which is now on so many 
tables and in the hands of such a multitude of readers, Mr. 
Morley tells us that when about to face one of his great par- 
liamentary ordeals, it was the habit of Mr. Gladstone to have 



recourse to his biblical recollections, whence to fortify him- 
self with some text appropriate to the occasion. So on the 
8th of April, when lie was to lay before the House of Com- 
mons his plan of Irish Home Rule, this entry appears in the 
pocket diary it was his custom to keep, — " The message 
came to me this morning ; 6 Hold thou up my goings in thy 
path, that my footsteps slip not.' '' Needless to say I am no 
more Mr. Gladstone than is this the Commons House of Great 
Britain ; but reading the above the other day in Morley's book, 
it did occur to me that, were I to select an appropriate text for 
this particular meeting of the Society, I should rind it in the 
twelfth verse of the tenth chapter of First Corinthians, — the 
familiar precept, " Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed 
lest he fall." A month ago we met after the usual summer in- 
termission, and, referring to the corresponding meeting of four 
years before, when it had devolved on me to announce four 
vacancies on our roll, all of which had occurred during the 
summer then just ended, I ventured to congratulate myself 
and the Society that we now met with a membership in no 
way diminished, our roll of Resident Members when we that 
day adjourned numbering 99, that of Corresponding Members 
50, that of Honorary Members 8, — a total membership of 156, 
our full number being 160. ." Let-' him that thinketh he 
standeth take heed lest he fall " ; to-day the membership of a 
month ago is noticeably reduced, — instead of 156 it stands at 
152. George Harris Monroe, a Resident Member, died at his 
house in Brookline on the evening of Thursday, October 15 ; 
and General Edward McCrady, a Corresponding Member, 
died at Charleston, South Carolina, on the 1st instant. The 
interval since our October meeting has, however, been made 
more and otherwise memorable by the disappearance from the 
historical firmament of two luminaries so widely recognized 
as to have found a place on our severely restricted Honorary 
Roll, — William Edward Hartpole Lecky died at his house in 
Onslow Gardens, London, October 22 ; and, last and greatest 
of all, Theodor Mommsen, full of years and laden with 
honors, passed away at his home in Charlottenburg, Prussia, 
on the morning of Sunday, November 1. 

It is not customary for the presiding officer here, when 
announcing deaths that have occurred, to do more than refer 
briefly to the connection with the Society of those who are 


gone ; and, in accordance with our usage, I shall presently 
call upon members of the Society to offer appreciations of 
each of those I have named. First, of our Resident Mem- 
ber. Born in Dedham, August 28, 1826, Mr. Monroe was 
already approaching the seventy-second milestone of life 
when, at our April meeting of 1898, he was chosen into the 
Society. When a man joins such a body as this at so late a 
period of life, he rarely, so to speak, becomes thoroughly 
habituated to it or actively concerns himself in it. It was so 
with Mr. Monroe. A frequent and interested attendant at 
our meetings, though heard at them less than we would have 
desired, he never served in the Council or upon any com- 
mittee, or contributed a paper or memoir to our Proceedings. 
Well read historically, especially in our American annals, 
thought and observation with him bore fruit in that modern 
substitute for Homer's winged words, — incessant and long- 
continued contributions to the journalistic press ; but here he 
was a silent spectator and listener. In his case, as in other 
cases I might easily mention, the fault, as well as the loss, was 
ours. He should have been elected twenty years earlier. 

Of Edward McCrady little can be said in connection with 
this Society. A most careful and painstaking student and 
writer, he was chosen a Corresponding Member at our meeting 
of May, 1902, and at the date of his death his name had stood 
on our rolls seventeen months only. After his election he 
never chanced to be in Massachusetts, and accordingly he was 
known personally to but few of our associates. The same 
might be said of both Professor Mommsen and Mr. Lecky ; 
indeed, I question whether either of these last two was ever 
even in America. Their names stood at the time of their 
deaths second and third on our Honorary Roll, Dr. Mommsen 
having been chosen at the October meeting, 1880, while Mr. 
Lecky followed in September, 1882. I am not aware that 
either of them made any contribution to our Proceedings. 
It is sufficient that their names graced our rolls. 

Here perhaps I might stop, my function fulfilled. But I 
feel that in the case of one of these two I owe something more 
to the occasion and to myself. When, in 1794, Edward 
Gibbon died, this Society was in its earliest infancy. Indeed, 
though already three years an organization, its legislative act of 
incorporation bears date a few days more than one month after 


the historian's death. James Sullivan, subsequently Governor 
of the Commonwealth, was its President, — its first President. 
To me at least it would now be curiously interesting could I turn 
back one hundred and ten years in the records of the Society 
and there find a characterization of Gibbon and an estimate 
of his historical work, as they appeared to him who then filled 
the chair I now occupy. I do not need to be told that Gibbon 
and his work were, at the time of his death, looked upon 
askance here in New England. I have already, on another 
occasion, called attention to the fact that in 1791 President 
Willard of Harvard College felt it incumbent upon him pub- 
licly to deny in the columns of the Boston" Centinel" a state- 
ment that "an abridgment of Gibbon's history" constituted 
" a part of the studies of the young gentlemen at our Uni- 
versity." 1 He added that " it was never thought of for the 
purpose." Probably this view of the pernicious character of 
Gibbon's work was shared to the full by my first predecessor. 
Unfortunately, his judgment is not recorded, and in this case 
we do not know how Gibbon looked in the eyes of that partic- 
ular one of his contemporaries. His death here passed unno- 
ticed. I do not propose that it shall be so with him whom I 
am disposed to regard as the greatest and most noteworthy 
historical investigator and writer whose death has been re- 
corded since 1794. Contemporaneous estimates of books, 
as of men, are apt to be wrong, and almost invariably the 
verdict, if not actually reversed, is greatly and variously 
modified. Will it be so with Mommsen ? Time only can 

1 Proceedings, 2d series, vol xiii. p. 84. 

This card of President Willard is now so curious that, as a matter of record, 
it is here given in full. It was printed in the issue of the " Columbian Centinel " 
for November 16, 1791, two days after it was written : — 

For the Centinel. 
Mr. Eussell, 

A writer in the Centinel of the last Saturday, under the signature of Christianus, 
says, " that an abridgment of Gibbon's history (if his information be true) is 
directed to make apart of the studies of the young gentlemen at our University." 
I now beg leave, through the channel of your paper, to acquaint that writer, as 
also the publick, that his information is not true. The system taught is Millot's 
Elements of General History, ancient and modern, and Gibbon's history was never 
thought of for the purpose. 

Joseph Willard, President. 

Cambridge, Nov. 14, 1791. 


Having occasion elsewhere, three years ago, 1 to refer to 
Mommsen and his History of Rome, I confessed to judging of 
him by recollection only ; for even then more than thirty 
years had passed since I had read his great work except in 
parts. I have since hardly more than looked into it, and for 
special purposes only. My impression of it, and of him as a 
writer — for the man himself I never saw — is, however, 
curiously fresh. It is the impression of something at once 
massive and individual. A writer of prodigious learning and 
Germanic self-poise, he seemed, as I remember, to pour forth 
the results of his investigations and thought with a disregard 
of conventionalities, traditions and accepted theories at once 
aggressive, dogmatic and contemptuous ; yet all the time you 
felt the man knew that whereof he spoke. I do not propose 
to institute any comparison between him and Gibbon. Except 
in learning, iconoclasm and historical instinct the two were as 
different as writers well can be, — different in method, in tem- 
perament and in style. The one was sceptical, a philosopher 
with a dash of the cynic; the other a dogmatist: but both 
built on a solid foundation of knowledge, and neither re- 
spected any fact or theory simply because all previous writers 
had agreed to accept it, or because it had ossified into an 
article of faith. They questioned everything. The result 
was that those two have between them re-written twenty 
centuries of history, covering the slow rise and yet slower fall 
of the greatest Empire our world has yet seen ; and from their 
hands the story came forth transmuted. Of what others can 
this be said? Indeed, scanning the whole field from Herodo- 
tus down, I am in all soberness of judgment disposed to say 
that Edward Gibbon and Theodor Mommsen constitute a 
class by themselves. So to-day we note the passing of an 
historical luminary than which none has shed a more widely 
diffused or more penetrating light. 

Mr. Franklin B. Sanborn, having been called on first, 
read a tribute to Mr. Monroe as follows : — 

Mr. President and Gentlemen, — Our good friend and late 
associate George H. Monroe was born in Dedham in August, 

1 Address at the Dedication of the Building of the State Historical Society of 
Wisconsin at Madison, October 19, 1900, p. 38. 


1826, within a few days of the birth of another member, Sena- 
tor Hoar, and also quite as near the birthday of Judge Francis 
Wayland, of New Haven. Of the three, Mr. Monroe was the 
first to depart, dying in October last, after a brief illness, at 
the age of a little more than seventy-seven years, — a long and 
useful but laborious life, and of late in much impaired health. 
Ten years ago last June, his lifelong friend Francis William 
Bird called at his editorial room in the " Herald " office, and 
then wrote to Monroe in these characteristic words : " I found 
it locked, as I have too frequently of late, and you reported 
to be at home sick. The old story ! I have lectured and 
scolded you about your health, until I find it does you no 
more good than other people's lectures do me." 

Mr. Bird died within a year, and Mr. Monroe had gone 
abroad in the intervening winter, to improve his own health 
by a season of rest and the diversions of European travel. 
Returning to his daily editorial duties, he continued them, 
with occasional vacations, usually from ill-health, until a few 
weeks before his death. The last time I saw him was near 
Park Street, early in October, slowly making his way towards 
the Subway train which was to take him to his comfortable 
Brookline home, and when I saw him next he was in his 

Mild and bland as our friend was in his character and man- 
ners, he was a descendant of those formidable fighting Monros 
of Rossshire in northern Scotland, who were captured by Crom- 
well at one or more of his Scotch battles and sent in consid- 
erable numbers to New England and Virginia. Eleven of this 
name are said to have been under arms at the Lexington fight 
in 1775, and of one of the eleven I believe George Monroe 
was the grandson. Colonel Monroe, of Virginia, who passed 
through all the grades of public service, ending with eight 
years in the Presidency, and who has given his name to a 
much disputed and much varying doctrine, was descended, 
according to tradition, from Hector Monro, an officer in the 
regiment of which the Lexington Monroe was a member. 

Born to no fortune, George Monroe learned the printer's 
trade, and passed through all the grades of that art and its 
post-graduate courses of editorial work. He was successively 
apprentice, journeyman, proof-reader, country editor of a 
weekly sheet, correspondent of great dailies, editor of a Bos- 


ton weekly, — several of them, indeed, — and leader-writer 
in the most influential of our Boston dailies. He thus be- 
came an historian ; for what is the newspaper but " the his- 
tory of the world for a day," as a witty New York editor 
said? And I am inclined to think that a careful daily his- 
torian like Monroe is at once more laborious, more exact, 
and on the whole more useful to mankind, than any but the 
greatest authors of well-bound histories. It is common for 
orators, in pulpits and on platforms, to denounce u the sensa- 
tional press " with a fine warm scorn, and accuse it of men- 
dacity, malignity, and every sort of inconvenient publicity. 
But when I turn to the pages of sober history (so called) I 
find that to be also, in the opinion of later authors, menda- 
cious, malignant, sensational, and every way unworthy of seri- 
ous confidence. " What is history ? " said Napoleon, that 
illustrious maker and falsifier of it, — "what is history but 
a fable agreed upon ? " This is what one able editor says to 
another in the newspaper world, as in the world of printed 
volumes that can stand alone. Prejudice and party bitterness 
rage among grave historians with quite as much force, though 
with slightly different results, whether the subject be the con- 
spiracy of Catiline, the assassination of Caesar, the character 
of Cromwell, or the victory of Tammany in New York, and 
the exact number of hours a revolution must have been 
wound up to strike and succeed before (as Mr. Gladstone 
said of the handiwork of Jefferson Davis) a nation has been 

Mrs. Oliphant, in her life of Principal Tulloch, having 
occasion to mention his friend James Hannay, editor of the 
Edinburgh " Courant," went on to describe him as " one of 
the many men of considerable gifts who sink in the sea of 
journalism and leave but small record of themselves, — not 
much more than a little wreckage upon the pitiless shore. He 
was, I believe, a good scholar and keen critic." On the other 
hand, Sir Leslie Stephen, in a recent magazine article, lets us 
know that, because he could not u come to terms with the 
XXXIX Articles," he had to accept the only practicable 
alternative, and exchange the pulpit for the press; adding 
that " the profession of journalism was becoming respectable." 
Nor was this wholly because young Leslie Stephen went into 
it, when his scruples excluded him from the pulpit; long be- 


fore that, Thackeray and other first-class men of letters had 
given it what the English mean by respectability. 

In the case of American journalists this had happened long 
before ; hardly a statesman of any note in our republic bat 
had dabbled in journalism, first or last. The greatest of them 
all, | Ben Franklin, had begun at the printer's case, as Mr. 
Monroe did, and had pied many a harmless " form " in Boston 
and Philadelphia before he joined with Washington and the 
Adamses in pieing'the venerable form of the British Empire 

as it then stood, 

And cast the kingdoms old 
Into another mould. 

Mr. Monroe was not wrecked in the sea of journalism ; he 
floated, carrying cargo for many a year on the comparatively 
calm lake of Boston politics and literature ; and he contributed 
to the guidance and entertainment of our city and suburban 
people in this fortunate peninsula, which reminded Dr. Tul- 
loch, when he was here some thirty years ago, of a happy 
blending of Edinburgh and Paris. (In passing, I may say 
that when, about the same time, I was escorting Lady Am- 
berley in a carriage from Cambridge to the Radical Club in 
Boston, and suggested to her that Emerson had found in 
Edinburgh " a fatal resemblance to Boston," the calm and 
brusque lady looked out of the window, as we were driv- 
ing along Charles Street, and missing the Calton Hill and 
the castled crag above Princes Street, coolly observed, " There 
is not the slightest similarity.") 

There was something of the historian in Mr. Monroe, and 
he was a reservoir of the political annals of New England 
from the days of Clay and Webster to those of the sermon- 
izing Roosevelt. But there was more of the moralist and 
daily counsellor in his practical rather than academic nature ; 
though he carefully avoided exploiting his favorite theses, as 
is too much the temptation of those who ascend the pulpit- 
stairs of daily, weekly, or semi-occasional moralizing. It was 
in Georgia, I have heard (whence the Boston manufacturers 
in Monroe's early years used to expect what they styled u a 
spontaneous demonstration in favor of protection from Butler 
King's district in Georgia"), — it was in that State, I think, 
that a man sentenced to death for stealing a horse or a negro, 
when asked by the sheriff on the scaffold if he wished to make 


a last dying speech, replied that if there was five minutes 
to spare, he would like to give the audience a few remarks in 
favor of a protective tariff. No such desperate economizing of 
editorial time was the habit of our friend. He wrote readily, 
from a full mind and long practice, but always with a certain 
margin of leisure around his well-reasoned and cogent leaders, 
and the letters he sent away to Hartford and New York when 
those cities found out what a good correspondent he was. 

Like all of us who have to enlighten the world on matters 
political and literary, he was much indebted to the good com- 
pany he kept when not at his desk or in his library. He had 
associated from the first with able politicians and journalists 
older than himself and more extreme in their views ; in my 
own particular circle with Charles Sumner, Francis William 
Bird, William Robinson, and Henry T Wilson. He had known 
Mr. Bird as a friend long before he came into the Bird Club 
as a member ; and in the Memoir of Mr. Bird (which both 
Mr. Monroe and I toiled at before it passed to its final editor), 
he has told a pleasing anecdote of their early friendship. In 
the " Free-Soil " year, 1847, Mr. Bird, at a school-house in 
South Dedham, debated the issues, and challenged any Whig 
to meet him in debate there. Mr. Monroe, just come of age 
and a printer in his native town, accepted the challenge with 
the " temerity of youth and enthusiasm," as he says ; and 
he then goes on : " I have never forgotten the kindness and 
courtesy with which he met me, a stripling opponent, — espe- 
cially as they were in marked contrast to the manner of an- 
other Free-Soil leader, Edward L. Keyes. It was a signal 
proof of Mr. Bird's broad and tolerant nature that he ad- 
mitted me at once into his friendship as the result of this 
discussion. We differed widely in politics, not only then, but 
for several years afterward, and yet he never ceased to be 
considerate and forbearing. I learned to admire and love him 
before I had any sympathy with him in his political views." 

During the Civil War they came together political^, and 
for a time Mr. Monroe edited the weekly " Commonwealth," 
which was supported by Mr. Bird and his friends in the inter- 
est of slave emancipation. By 1872 they had lost faith in the 
Republican party, and publicly seceded, — Mr. Bird being the 
Democratic candidate for Governor, and Mr. Monroe for Secre- 
tary of State. Before this he had been in the Legislature, and 



both before and after he served on the Boston School Com- 
mittee to the satisfaction of everybody. His standard of pub- 
lic duty was high, and his service punctually rendered. 

In his later editorial work he was patient of the fluctuations 
of popular opinion, which he was ever seeking to guide ; but 
he became rather impatient of the moralizing sciolist in high 
place, who treats his fellow-citizens as if they were beginners 
in a Sunday-school class. Not long ago I asked him what he 
thought of one of our President's prairie speeches, which was 
making some stir in the press. " Oh, I never read him," was the 
reply. He had come to look on the ordinary struggles and 
wriggles of the office-seeking politician with a mixture of 
amusement and scorn, which, I suppose, is the true historical 
temper. That our late associate had, though he did little of 
the work commonly reckoned historical. 

Mr. Albert B. Hart spoke extemporaneously to the fol- 
lowing effect : — 

That I have this valued opportunity of touching on the life 
and public services of General Edward McCrady is probably 
due to the fact that within a few months I have been permit- 
ted to acquire the friendship of that large-minded man, and 
can speak from personal knowledge and from personal respect 
and affection. 

General McCrady was born in Charleston April 8, 1833, 
and throughout his long life was always identified with that 
city, with the State of South Carolina, and with the South. 
He was a man of many sides, interested and eminent in many 
subjects. He early chose the law as his profession, and turned 
his mind upon the impending struggle between the sections. 
He did not discuss the question of State rights or secession ; 
to his mind there was nothing to discuss, he never for a mo- 
ment doubted that his community had the right to withdraw 
from the Union, and he supported that cause unhesitatingly 
and with absolute devotion. He told me himself that he was 
detailed on the 11th of April, 1861, to carry orders to all the 
fortifications commanding Fort Sumter to prepare for a bom- 
bardment, although the final orders were not given until 
twenty-four hours later. 

As a soldier he showed the qualities of character and of 


mind which distinguished him throughout his life, the bravest 
of the brave, the most self-sacrificing of the unselfish ; yet few 
soldiers, however brave, would, like him, have arisen from a 
sick-bed and found a way to the front, in order to take part 
in the terrible fighting before Richmond, only, after the battle 
was over, to return to the bed of fever. He fought bravely, 
was repeatedly wounded, yet served to the end of the war. 
Like most men of high courage and great personal service, 
he had nothing to boast of, but would, if pressed, tell many 
incidents of those fearful experiences. 

When the war was over, General McCrady returned to his 
practice and distinguished himself in constitutional law. It 
was he who suggested the ingenious theory, afterwards upheld 
by the Supreme Court of the United States, that a juror could 
not be asked whether he had been engaged in rebellion, since 
rebellion was a crime, and a man could not be compelled to 
testify against himself. In the law, as in everything he did, 
he loved to get to the bottom of the question, and showed 
himself clear-minded, resolute, and successful. 

About 1879 he came forward for the first time as a public 
man, attracting the attention of his State by several articles 
on the suffrage, of which the most important was " The 
Necessity of Raising the Standard of Citizenship," published 
in 1881. General McCrady's purpose was to find a way in 
which the negro vote, which had recently been suppressed by 
fraud and violence, might be excluded by a legal and orderly 
process. He revived an old system of separate ballot boxes, 
and drafted the so-called " Eight Ballot-Box Law," which 
drew down upon the State the fiercest criticism from the 
North. It was intended to provide an intellectual qualifica- 
tion which would apply to the most ignorant white men as 
well as to the negroes, and it was subsequently carried out 
in a clause of the South Carolina Constitution of 1895 which 
was also drafted by General McCrady. That constitutional 
provision was complicated, and he was frank to own that he 
lost his own vote at the first election after it went into force 
because he forgot to go through all the preliminaries ; but it 
seems a reasonable and justly administered provision. 

Throughout his life General McCrady was a churchman, 
extremely interested in the affairs of the diocese, and every- 
where beloved and honored for his zeal and his exemplifica- 


tion of the Christian gentleman. He loved Saint Philip's 
Church, and one of his most interesting pieces of work is an 
historical account of that church, which with Saint Michael's 
is the object most revered by the people of Charleston. He 
was for many years churchwarden of Saint Philip's. 

General McCrady's membership in the Massachusetts His- 
torical Society was due to his high qualities as an historian. 
Leaving out of account his many historical articles and pam- 
phlets, his reputation will rest chiefly upon his great work, 
u The History of South Carolina," extending from earliest colo- 
nization to the end of the Revolution, in four large volumes. 
General McCrady began his work on this history when many 
men are completing their life achievements, and he kept at it 
steadily, to the publication of the last volume less than two 
years ago. It is a work which at once gave him a great repu- 
tation throughout the country, except in one spot: the people 
of Charleston seemed unaware that they had in their midst 
an historical writer who had made himself an authority among 
American historians, and who thus conferred upon his city an 
additional honor. The merits of that work are well known. 
It has the drawbacks of a history written late in life by a 
man who never had a distinctly historical training, and whose 
mind and surroundings made it impossible to write with cold 
impartiality. He was a South Carolinian who was proud to 
make the glory of his Commonwealth known. He had some 
strong prejudices, and he wrote in a community where ances- 
tor worship is still a recognized form of religion ; yet it is a 
thoughtful, clear, and able work, a monument of learning and 
of skill, the more remarkable because written in a community 
from which he drew little literary stimulus ; it is fresh, strong, 
original, and truthful. 

General McCrady's book reflects the writer, a brave, strong, 
and beautiful character. In person he was aristocratic, a dis- 
tinguished man. In his daily life there lived no simpler and 
more genuine man; absolutely without guile, doing his duty 
as he saw it from day to day. I have never met a man fojr 
whom from the first acquaintance I formed such feelings of 
respect and admiration. He fought upon the other side from 
my father, yet I thought the two men much alike. To me, 
therefore, the death of General McCrady comes as a personal 
loss ; and I thank you for these few minutes in which to ex- 


press, however imperfectly, the feeling that this was a man 
whom this Society, whom scholars everywhere, whom his 
American countrymen, should delight to honor. 

Hon. Daniel H. Chamberlain, who was absent from the 
State, having expressed a wish to join in the tribute to Gen- 
eral McCrady, the following paper is inserted as a part of the 
record of the meeting : — 

Edward McCrady was by date of election the forty-third Cor- 
responding Member on the list of the Society at the time of his 
decease. Charleston, South Carolina, was the place of his birth, 
life, and death. There he was born, April 8, 1833, and 
there he died, November 2, 1903. He had thus passed the 
middle of his seventy-first year. His ancestry was distin- 
guished and patriotic ; his father, whose baptismal name he 
bore, having been an eminent member of the Charleston bar, 
quite unsurpassed there in some branches of his profession, and 
perhaps still more eminent for his courageous, unflinching, and 
lofty adherence to the Union cause as against nullification in 
the very year of General McCrady's birth. His brother, John 
McCrady, dying before middle life as Professor of Science in 
the University of the South, at Sewanee, Tennessee, was well 
known at Cambridge, where he was par excellence the favorite 
pupil of Louis Agassiz ; and his death was deplored by the 
whole scientific world as a distinct and serious loss to science 
and learning. 

Our friend and Corresponding Member received his early 
scholastic training in the excellent private classical schools 
then so flourishing and influential in Charleston and through- 
out the State of South Carolina, schools which trained and 
inspired many of the greatest men not only in the arena of the 
State but of the United States. He was graduated at the Col- 
lege of Charleston in 1853 at the age of twenty ; and at once, 
under the personal hand of his father and in his office, began 
his law studies, was admitted to the bar at Charleston in 1855, 
and immediately entered upon the work of his profession in 
connection or partnership with his father. 

The war of Secession — and the present writer will pause 
here to remark, however disconnected it may be from the 
theme of this paper, that this designation of the war which 


went on in the United States from 1861 to 1865 seems to him 
the most accurately descriptive term which can be used, as 
well as one free from objection from either side as offensively 
characterizing what must long remain one of the great histori- 
cal controversies of the nineteenth century, — the war was now 
imminent, and young McCrady at once interested himself 
specially in military affairs, and in 1859 was a member of a 
commission appointed by the Legislature to examine and report 
on the militia system of the State, he being at that time captain 
of a company of State guards. Late in 1860, but after the 
passage of the State ordinance of Secession, so called, he 
entered the military service of the State at the capture of 
Castle Pinckney, and served till the capture of Fort Sumter, 
April 13, 1861. He then entered the military service of the 
Confederacy as captain of a company of volunteers, and went 
with his command to Virginia in July, 1861, where his com- 
pany was assigned to Gregg's Regiment of South Carolina 
Volunteers. He was promoted to be major in December, 1861, 
and to be lieutenant-colonel in July, 1862. During the sum- 
mer of 1862 he took part in the battles of Cold Harbor, Cedar 
Run, and the Second Manassas, where he received a severe 
wound in the head which debarred him from joining in the 
following Maryland campaign. Rejoining his brigade, he was 
present at the battle of Fredericksburg in December, 1862. 
But in January, 1863, in camp at Morse's Neck, Va., he was 
seriously injured by a falling tree, which disabled him from 
further field duty. Though remaining with his regiment, he 
was unable to do duty and closed his active service at Mine 
Run, Va., in December, 1863, when he was transferred to the 
command of a camp of instruction at Madison, Florida, where 
he served till April, 1865, when, on his way to rejoin his 
regiment in Virginia, he was advised of General Lee's 

In October, 1865, he again took up his profession in Charles- 
ton, and he never ceased to follow it devotedly and steadily 
till the day of his death. In his profession he was known as 
a laborious, astute, learned student of law, as well as an up- 
right, skilful, and aggressive practitioner and a most trusted 
and faithful counsellor. His professional character, as distin- 
guished from his professional work, was of the highest. For 
fully ten years after the war he confined himself closely to his 


professional work, producing, however, many legal discussions 
in the "American Law Review," in the "Southern Law Re- 
view," and in the " Central Law Journal." At the same time 
he published political articles on passing topics, such as suf- 
frage, public education, with other articles on railroads and 
railroad problems. 

But historical subjects were even then foremost in claims on 
his time and thought. The list of topics, as well as papers 
and addresses, is long, and includes, with many others, the fol- 
lowing : An address before the survivors of Company A, First 
Regiment S. C. V., Williston, South Carolina, on " The Real 
Cause of the War," 1882, republished in the Southern His- 
torical Papers, 1888 ; " Education in South Carolina prior to 
the Revolution," a paper read before the Historical Society of 
South Carolina, 1883, pamphlet 4, Vol. IV., Historical Collec- 
tions ; "Gregg's Brigade of South Carolinians in the Second 
Battle of Manassas," an address before the survivors of the 
Twelfth Regiment S. C. V., 1884, republished in the Southern 
Historical Papers ; " History of the Medical Profession in 
South Carolina," an address before the Medical College of 
South Carolina, 1885 ; Address before the Virginia Division 
of Army of Northern Virginia, at Richmond, on the "For- 
mation, Organization, and Characteristics of the Army of 
Northern Virginia," in the Southern Historical Papers, 1886; 
"Heroes of the old Camden District, South Carolina, 1776 to 
1861," an address to the Survivors of Fairfield County, 
delivered at Winnsboro, Southern Historical Papers, 1888 ; 
" The People of the State," an address before the Literary 
Society of Statesburg, South Carolina, 1889 ; the historical 
sketch of South Carolina in the work on Representative Men 
of the Carolinas. 

In 1880 General McCrady was elected to the Legislature for 
Charleston County, and was re-elected annually until 1888. In 
1882 he introduced and carried through the Legislature an Act 
to establish a Confederate bureau in the office of the Adjutant- 
General of the State, for the collection of war records, and to 
this bureau General McCrady presented all the material on 
that subject which he had so laboriously and diligently col- 
lected. By this act and his previous industry the record of 
South Carolina soldiers in the Confederate service is wellnigh 
complete, and for this work, of value alike as a heritage to the 


people of the State and a mine for historical research and col- 
lated established facts, General McCrady is entitled to the 
credit. He also took an active part in passing and perfecting 
the railroad laws of the State, the stock law, and the local 
option laws ; introduced the resolution endorsing Civil Service 
reform, and did effective service in favor of the " bill to prevent 
duelling." He was chairman of the Committee on Privileges 
and Elections, and a member of the Judiciary and Railroad 
Committees. Appointed in 1882 Major-General of South 
Carolina militia, he had much to do with bringing the militia 
of the State up to a high condition of efficiency and value. 
His services here won him the military title, by which he was 
ever afterwards known, of General. 

In the Legislature General McCrady gave special attention 
to the election laws of the State, and was the author of the act 
known as the Eight-Box Act, for which it was claimed that it 
avoided the necessity of resort to force or violence to over- 
come the negro vote. 

At the close of his legislative service in 1888 General 
McCrady entered upon a new line of work which occupied all 
the time he could spare from his profession till the close of 
his life. It was in this period, 1888 to 1903, that he did his 
most notable and valuable work, won his lasting fame, and 
earned the respect and gratitude to a singular degree of all 
his fellow citizens of South Carolina, the wider circle of his 
countrymen, and of historians and historical students every- 
where. It is of this period and this part of his career that it 
seems proper specially to speak. 

It would not be easy to name another instance of just such 
a career as a student and writer of history ; for General 
McCrady never in any sense or degree abandoned his profes- 
sion or its constant practice and pursuit. The last time the 
writer saw him was in June of the present year, as he sat in 
his office surrounded by law papers and law books and im- 
mersed in absorbing law work. In 1888, when his formal 
historical work was begun, he was fifty-five years of age, 
without fortune, compelled to earn his livelihood wholly by 
the practice of his profession. At this time he fixed his mode 
of work, and division of time and labor. During all the hours 
of the day he was at his office or in court. At nightfall he 
took up his historical work, continuing it according to his 


strength or inclination, until he retired to sleep, usually about 
eleven to twelve o'clock. The two occupations were thus 
separated and never allowed to interfere or become mixed the 
one with the other. Working thus steadily, never hurriedly, 
with no daily stint or task fixed or thought of, he pursued his 
end, till in 1897 he published " The History of South Carolina 
under the Proprietary Government, 1670-1719," 762 pages; 
in 1899, " The History of South Carolina under the Royal Gov- 
ernment, 1719-1776," 847 pages ; in 1901, « The History of 
South Carolina in the Revolution, 1776-1780," 899 pages; in 
1902, " The History of South Carolina in the Revolution, 
1780 to 1783," 785 pages ; a total of four volumes and 
3,293 pages. 

Measured merely by its quantity, its pages, this is a stupen- 
dous achievement; measured by its quality, it must be ranked 
high ; measured by its difficulties and the personal conditions 
under which its author wrote, it may fairly be classed as one 
of the remarkable feats of authorship. 

But perhaps it would be well to explain a little what is here 
meant by the difficulties of the work. South Carolina may, I 
am disposed to think, be called the most historical State of the 
Union. By this is meant the State in which has taken place 
the greatest number of events which have affected our whole 
country or have interested the world. No reference is here 
made to the greatness of single events, but to the sum total of 
events which may properly be called historical. For example, 
it is not suggested that any event has occurred in South Caro- 
lina which equals in its consequences, or has so profoundly 
influenced and impressed the world, as the landing of the 
Pilgrims at Plymouth and of the Puritans at Boston, or the 
first settlement at Jamestown, or the discharge of the first 
cargo of negroes in Virginia. But when one runs over the 
whole list of events in South Carolina of which the country 
and the world has taken more or less note, including especially 
the struggle with the red Indians, with the Spanish, and with 
pirates, in her early days ; the events occurring there in the 
Revolution ; the capture of Charleston by the British ; the 
struggles of the patriots of the low country ; such incidents 
as the martyrdom of Hayne ; the great and peculiar feature 
of the partisan warfare in the State from 1776 to 1783 ; the 
valor and skill of the great partisan leaders ; the part which 



South Carolina bore in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ; 
her part and spirit in the adoption of the Constitution ; the 
great nullification episode ; the career and leadership of Cal- 
houn ; the part of the State in pressing for secession ; the 
attack on Fort Sumter followed by the great siege of Charles- 
ton ; and the disaster to the Union forces at Fort Wagner, — 
when all these events and others of only a little less promi- 
nence are called to mind, it seems reasonable to say that 
South Carolina had, when General McCrady began his work, 
more historical material to be dealt with and set forth in due 
order and in readable and clear narrative than any other of 
our States could furnish. This difficulty, instead of being an 
embarrassment of riches, was an embarrassment of tangled 
and multitudinous events and incidents, which till then had 
not been dealt with except in a fragmentary, annalistic, and 
unscientific way. Literature, pure and simple, which can 
alone make the best historical writing, had never greatly 
flourished in South Carolina. The list of those who had 
attempted to use the material named for historical composi- 
tion, whether in the form of histories proper, like Ramsay's 
work, or in the form of romances, like Simms's work, is a very 
short one. Politics, political writing and thinking, the devel- 
opment of political theses and theories, the propagation of 
political and constitutional tenets, had from the first thrown 
literature into the background. The effect of the war was, 
for a quarter of a century, to put out of mind, as well as out 
of reach of possible accomplishment, all plans and thoughts 
of historical writing or publishing except of a fugitive sort. 

The field, then, when General McCrady took up his task was 
an open and practically unbroken, uncultivated one. The task 
was unique, as well as disheartening and forbidding to any but 
a man of strong will, of indomitable industry, and a patience 
and devotion which looked not for pecuniary profit or literary 
fame, but only to the pious object of telling the high story, 
the thrilling events, the far-reaching influences, which his na- 
tive and well-loved State had enacted or originated in her first 
century and a quarter of life as a separate civil community. 
Precisely such a man was Edward McCrady. Not brilliant, 
not strictly literary by habit or endowment, not master to the 
last of a flowing or attractive style, he had what alone could 
cope with his problem — a firm grasp of facts, a power of 


grouping and arranging them in orderly sequence, a scrupulous 
fidelity in gathering materials, above all, a will to work out 
his task, which never faltered. Fortunately, no doubt, for his 
success, he did not sit down and much survey the future of 
his work. What he cculd do from month to month he was 
contented to do, and whether he reached a particular distant 
goal or not did not greatly concern him. So, too, he wasted 
or used but little time in the work of revision after he felt he 
had made sure of the facts. He wrote, as he once remarked 
to the present writer, " as well as he could, and let it go at 
that." If with his rather deficient literary touch he had tried, 
between the age of fifty-five and seventy, to construct a 
literary monument, the great work he has now done and left 
to the world would never have been completed. 

When he had finished the last volume of his history, he said 
to the present writer, " 1 have now reached a halting-place. 
I can go on again if I live and choose to do so, or I can rest 
finally where I am " ; and he then proceeded to say that he 
had carefully turned over in his mind the scheme and con- 
tents of one more volume, and had gathered a good deal of 
material for it, but he had not then determined whether or 
not he should seriously set at work upon it. This volume 
was to cover the period from 1783 to at least 1789, and possi- 
bly the following decade, but to be principally or specially an 
effort to set forth the position of the State, her public men, 
and her people, on the Federal Constitution, and even more 
specially the story of the adoption of the Constitution by the 
Convention of South Carolina, with sketches of the personali- 
ties of the leaders, at that time, of the State. There is reason 
to believe he had before his death more fully, if not quite 
fully, determined to enter on this work, and that evidences or 
traces are left of his work in that direction. 

It is of interest to note here that about a year ago the 
present writer took the liberty to invite and urge General 
McCrady to prepare a special article, as a Corresponding 
Member of our Society, and to read it in person before the 
Society. The thought evidently was grateful to him, and in 
a later interview he informed the writer that he had entered 
upon the preparation of such a paper, to bear the title " The 
Adoption of the Federal Constitution in South Carolina," or 
some equivalent title. How far he had gone in this work is 


not known, but it is pleasant evidence of the regard he bore 
the Society and the value he put on his membership here, that 
he responded so quickly to this suggestion, remarking, as he 
did, " I will do anything in my power to gratify my friends in 
the Massachusetts Historical Society." 

Of the merits of the volumes of General McCrady's His- 
tory of South Carolina it might be profitable to speak at 
some length, but it is not necessary. His career, how he 
worked, and what he accomplished, and what he wished to 
accomplish, have been perhaps sufficiently set forth in what 
has now been said. All in all, he was a rare example of one 
who made the most of his talents; who worked conscien- 
tiously rather than ambitiously ; who did good rather than 
great work; who always aimed at accuracy in matters of fact; 
who had his predilections even in historical matters, but who 
always gave his sources and authorities ; and never forgot the 
decorum of the historian in the zeal of the pamphleteer, or the 
special duty which rests on all historical writers to do justly 
by historical characters who can no longer speak for them- 
selves. Being once criticised by the present writer for what 
the latter deemed injustice done to General Greene in his last 
volume, and for some unfairness of judgment as between the 
merits of Sumter and Marion, his reply was, " Well, there are 
the facts for all to judge of. I have only given my judgment." 

Some obvious defects of attitude and temper as well as 
method could easily be found in his work ; one of which is 
expressed in the adage, " One often cannot see the woods for 
the trees." General McCrady sometimes fills his canvas with 
such a foreground of details as to hide and confuse the great 
features he seeks to delineate ; another defect is that he some- 
times seems to hold a brief for certain characters which he 
presents and which perhaps command his sympathy and ad- 
miration. If these be his defects, however, it may be added 
that they are common defects of all historians, from Thucy eli- 
des to Gibbon and to Macaulay. 

It would not be well to close this notice of General McCrady 
without some reference to one who was his constant encourager 
in his historical work, as well as often an adviser regarding 
materials and estimates of men and of events involved in Gen- 
eral McCrady's histories. The reference is to that other 
Corresponding Member of the Society from South Carolina, 


the Hon. William Ashmead Courtenay. This gentleman, 
while not the author of any formal history, lias probably done 
more than any other man, now or at any time living in South 
Carolina, to promote the historical spirit, and especially to 
gather and make available historical materials. From 1880 
to 1888 Mr. Courtenay was the mayor of the city of Charles- 
ton. The Year-Books, so called, of Charleston during that 
period are unsurpassed mines of historical wealth on all topics 
connected with the historv of Charleston, besides containing 
much with reference to the history of the whole State. Who- 
ever will open and turn over the pages of these eight volumes 
will be surprised, if he has theretofore been a stranger to 
them, at the value of the historical matter therein preserved. 
They cover a compendious but quite full sketch of the his- 
tory of the city from 1783 to 1882, with lists of all city officers 
from the earliest date, histories of the churches of all denomi- 
nations, of slavery in South Carolina, of nullification, of the 
Compromise Measures of 1850, of the War of Secession, of 
the defence of Charleston during the war, especially the 
struggle and Union disaster at Fort Wagner, the evacuation 
of Charleston in 1865, the reconstruction period, the great 
earthquake in Charleston in 1886, — by far the best record, 
I venture to say, in existence anywhere of that event, — 
the history of public education in Charleston and South Caro- 
lina from the earliest days ; and all accompanied by numerous 
reproductions of maps, and by fresh photographic illustra- 
tions of places and scenes, especially those connected with 
the earthquake, and numerous biographies of distinguished 
Charlestonians and South Carolinians, such as we should be 
unable to find elsewhere, — a veritable thesaurus of historical 
information for that city and State. It is pleasant to know 
of the long and mutually helpful friendship of these two de- 
voted friends of historical work, the many conferences held 
by them on difficult points, their unselfish aid to all students 
of history interested in Charleston or South Carolina, — a 
pleasure heightened by the fact that the roll of Corresponding 
Members of the Society has borne the honored names of both. 
It need only be added to complete this notice that General 
McCrady held the academic degree of LL.D. from the College 
of Charleston, and a like degree {juris utriusqne graduni) from 
the University ot South Carolina; and of D.C.L. from the 


University of the South. He was also at the time of his death 
the Second Vice-President of the American Historical As- 
sociation, — an honor which, had his life been spared, would 
doubtless have ripened at the approaching meeting at New 
Orleans into the Presidency of that flourishing and powerful 

Of no man could it be more justly said that the end crowned 
and glorified the work, — finis coronal opus. With one heart 
and one voice his city and State mourned him by all simple 
and becoming funereal tokens of love and honor. A devoted 
churchman during all his life, his dead form rested before 
burial under the imposing arch and dome of venerable and 
war-tried St. Philip's Church, where he had been a vestryman 
for over twenty-five years, and was senior warden at the time 
of his death ; and was borne to repose at last in the cemetery 
of the church, near the grave of John C. Calhoun. 

In the presence of such " a hopeful euthanasy " Words- 
worth's fine lines on the death of Fox naturally recur to 
memory, — 

" But when the great and good depart, 

What is it more than this — 

That Man, who is from God sent forth, 

Doth yet again to God return ? — 

Such ebb and flow must ever be, 

Then wherefore should we mourn? " 

Mr. James F. Rhodes read an estimate of Mr. Lecky : — 

Amazement was the feeling of the reading world on learn- 
ing that the author of the " History of Rationalism " was only 
twenty-seven, and the writer of the " History of European 
Morals" only thirty-one. The sentiment was that a prodigy 
of learning had appeared, and a perusal of these works now 
renders comprehensible the contemporary astonishment. The 
" Morals" (published in 1869) is the better book of the two, 
and, if I may judge from my own personal experience, it may 
be read with delight when young and re-read with respect and 
advantage at an age when the enthusiasms of youth have given 
way to the critical attitude of experience. Grant all the critics 
say of it, that the reasoning by which Lecky attempts to de- 
molish the utilitarian theory of morals is no longer of value 
and that it lacks the consistency of either the orthodox or the 


agnostic, that there is no new historical light, and that much 
of the treatise is commonplace, nevertheless the historical 
illustrations and disquisitions, the fresh combination of well- 
known facts are valuable for instruction and for a new point 
of view. His analysis of the causes of the decline and fall 
of the Roman Empire is drawn of course from Gibbon, but I 
have met those who prefer the interesting story of Lecky to 
the majestic sweep of the great master. Much less brilliant 
than Buckle's " History of Civilization," the first volume of 
which appeared twelve years earlier, the " Morals " has 
stood better the test of time. 

The intellectual history of so precocious a writer is inter- 
esting, and fortunately it has been related by Lecky himself. 
When he entered Trinity College, Dublin, in 1856, "Mill was 
in the zenith of his fame and influence " ; Hugh Miller was 
attempting to reconcile the recent discoveries of geology with 
the Mosaic cosmogony. " In poetry," he wrote, " Tennyson 
and Longfellow reigned, I think with an approach to equality 
which has not continued." In government the orthodox po- 
litical economists furnished the theory and the Manchester 
school the practice. All this intellectual fermentation affected 
this inquiring young student ; but at first Bishop Butler's 
"Analogy "and Sermons, which were then much studied at 
Dublin, had the paramount influence. Of the living men, 
Archbishop Wnately, then at Dublin, held sway. Other 
writers whom he mastered were Coleridge, Newman, and 
Emerson, Pascal, Bossuet, Rousseau, and Voltaire, Dugald 
Stewart, and Mill. In 1857 Buckle burst upon the world, 
and proved a stimulus to Lecky as well as to most serious 
historical students. The result of these studies, Lecky relates, 
was his " History of Rationalism," published in the early part 
of 1865. 

The claim made by many of Lecky's admirers, that he was 
a philosophic historian, as distinct from literary historians like 
Carlyle and Macaulay, and scientific like Stubbs and Gardiner, 
has injured him in the eyes of many historical students who 
believe that if there be such a thing as the philosophy of his- 
tory the narrative ought to carry it naturally. To stop the 
relation of events or the delineation of character by parading 
trite reflections or rashly broad generalizations is neither 
science nor art. Lecky has sometimes been condemned by stu- 


dents who, revolting at the term "philosophy" in connection 
with history, have failed to read his greatest work, the " His- 
tory of England in the Eighteenth Century." This is a de- 
cided advance on the " History of Morals," and shows honest 
investigation in original material, much of it manuscript, and 
an excellent power of generalization widely different from 
that which exhibits itself in a paltry philosophy. These vol- 
umes are a real contribution to historical knowledge. Parts 
of them which I like often to recur to are the account of the 
ministry of Walpole, the treatment of " parliamentary corrup- 
tion," of the condition of London, and of " national tastes and 
manners." His Chapter IX., which relates the rise of Meth- 
odism, has a peculiarly attractive swing and go, and his use 
of anecdote is effective. 

Chapter XX., on the " Causes of the French Revolution," cov- 
ering one hundred and forty-one pages, is an ambitious attempt, 
but it shows a thorough digestion of his material, profound 
reflection, and a lively presentation of his view. Mr. Morse 
Stephens believes that it is idle to attempt to inquire into the 
causes of this political and social overturn. If an historian 
tells the how, he asserts he should not be asked to tell the why. 
This is an epigrammatic statement of a tenet of the scientific 
historical school of Oxford, but men will always be interested 
in inquiring why the French Revolution happened, and such 
chapters as this of Lecky, a blending of speculation and nar- 
rative, will hold their place. These volumes have much well 
and impartially written Irish history, and being published be- 
tween 1878 and 1890, at the time that the Irish question in 
its various forms became acute, they attracted considerable 
attention from the political world. Gladstone was an admirer 
of Lecky, and said in a chat with John Morley, " Lecky has 
real insight into the motives of statesmen. Now Carlyle, so 
mighty as he is in flash and penetration, has no eye for mo- 
tives. Macaulay, too, is so caught by a picture, by color, by 
surface, that he is seldom to be counted on for just account 
of motive." The Irish chapters furnished arguments for the 
Liberals, but did not convert Lecky himself to the policy of 
home rule. When Gladstone and his party adopted it, he 
became a Liberal Unionist, and as such was elected in 1895 a 
member of the House of Commons by Dublin University. In 
view of the many comments that he was not a success in par- 


liamentary life, I may say that the election not only came to 
him unsought, bat that he recognized that he was too old to 
adapt himself to the atmosphere of the House of Commons ; 
he accepted the position in the belief which was pressed upon 
him by many friends that he could in Parliament be useful to 
the University. 

Within less than three years have we commemorated in this 
hall three great English historians, Stubbs, Gardiner, and 
Lecky. The one we honor to-day was the most popular of 
the three. Not studied so much at the seats of learning, he 
is better known to journalists, to statesmen, to men of affairs, 
in short, to general readers. Even our Society made him an 
Honorary Member fourteen years before it did Gardiner, al- 
though Gardiner was the older man and two volumes of his 
history had been published before Lecky's " Rationalism," and 
two volumes more in the same year as the "Morals." One year 
after it was published " Rationalism " went into a third edition. 
Gardiner's "first volumes sold one hundred and forty copies. 
It must, however, be stated that the Society recognized Gar- 
diner's work as early as 1874 by electing him a Corresponding 

It is difficult to guess how long Lecky will be read. His 
popularity is distinct. He was the rare combination of a 
scholar and a man of the world, made so by his own peculiar 
talent and by lucky opportunities. He was not obliged to 
earn his living. In early life by intimate personal inter- 
course he drew intellectual inspiration from Dean Mil man, 
and later he learned practical politics through his friendship 
with Lord Russell. He knew well Herbert Spencer, Huxley, 
and Tyndall. In private conversation he was a very inter- 
esting man. His discourse ran on books and on men ; he 
turned from one to the other and mixed up the two with a 
ready familiarity. He went much into London society, and 
though entirely serious and without having, so far as I know, 
a gleam of humor, he was a fluent and entertaining talker. 

Mr. Lecky was vitally interested in the affairs of this coun- 
try, and sympathized with the North during our Civil War. 
He once wrote me : " I am old enough to remember vividly 
your great war, and was then much with an American friend 
— a very clever lawyer named George Bemis — whom I came 
to know very well at Rome. ... I was myself a decided 



Northerner, but the 'right of revolution ' was always rather a 
stumbling block." Talking with Mr, Lecky in 1895, not long 
after the judgment of the United States Supreme Court that 
the income tax was unconstitutional, he expressed the opinion 
that it was a grand decision, evidencing a high respect for 
private property,- but in the next breath came the question, 
" How are you ever to manage continuing the payment of 
those enormous pensions of yours?" 

It is not, I think, difficult to explain why Sfcubbs and Gar- 
diner are more precious possessions for students than Lecky. 
Gardiner devoted his life to the seventeenth century. If we 
may reckon the previous preparation and the ceaseless revision, 
Stubbs devoted a good part of his life to the constitutional his- 
tory from the beginnings of it to Henry VII. Lecky's eight 
volumes on the Eighteenth Century were published in thir- 
teen years. A mastery of a mass of original material such 
as Stubbs and Gardiner mastered was impossible within that 
time. Lecky had the faculty of historic divination which com- 
pensated to some extent for the lack of a more thorough 
study of the sources. Genius stood in the place of pains- 
taking engrossment in a single task. 

The last most important work of Lecky, " Democracy and 
Liberty," was a brave undertaking. Many years ago he wrote : 
" When I was deeply immersed in the 'History of England in 
the Eighteenth Century,' I remember being struck by the say- 
ing of an old and illustrious friend that he could not under- 
stand the state of mind of a man who, when so many questions 
of burning and absorbing interest were rising around him, 
could devote the best years of his life to the study of a van- 
ished past." Hence the book which considered present issues 
of practical politics and party controversies, and a result that 
satisfied no party and hardly any faction. It is an interesting 
inquiry who chose the better part, — lie or Stubbs and Gardiner. 
They emulated the philosopher of whom Plato wrote: "He is 
like one who retires under the shelter of a wall in the storm 
of dust and sleet which the driving wind hurries along." 

The President directed attention to a fine photographic 
reproduction of Lenbach's painting of Theodor Mommsen, 
which had been given to the Society by Rev. Edward J. 
Young, D.D., and called on Hon. Carl Schijrz, an Hon- 


orary Member, who read the following characterization of the 
historian : — 

When our worthy President, Mr. Adams, did me the honor 
of asking me to address this distinguished company on the 
works and career of our departed Honorary Member, Theodor 
Mommsen, I first recoiled with terror from a task which, as I 
thought, to be worthily performed, required an intimate and 
fresh knowledge and critical survey of the great man's writings 
and doings by a man far more competent than myself. But 
Mr. Adams persuaded me that nothing of the kind was ex- 
pected on an occasion like this, and that a few words of ap- 
preciation of the merits of the departed member would be 
sufficient. This assurance took off the edge of my fright. 

I had the good fortune many years ago, in 1868, of coming 
into personal contact with Professor Mommsen, not, indeed, 
enough to establish any sort of intimate relations between us, 
but enough to give me a distinct impression of his personality. 
He was born in that part of Germany from which Hengist and 
Horsa issued to invade Britain, and he seemed to me to have 
himself something of the Viking in his nature. There was a 
merciless thoroughness of purpose and method in his historical 
truth-seeking, a sort of ferocious glee in the manner in which 
he played havoc with so many legendary romances which had 
become familiar and dear to the popular mind, that the reader 
of his history of Rome and of some of his short monographs 
would be inclined angrily to resent the forceful superiority of 
knowledge which was blazing upon him, and to yield finally 
with a sort of sullen submissiveness to the almost brutal but 
fascinating power of it. And when I speak of the reader, I 
speak of myself, remembering as I do my first reading of 
Mommsen's Roman history. That was many years ago, — so 
many years, indeed, that not a clear memory in detail of what 
I did read is before my mind, but rather the peculiar impres- 
sion it made upon me, and of the clearness of the light in 
which suddenly Rome appeared to me, — the character of her 
people, her customs and institutions and policies, and the 
source and development of her mastership. 

Mommsen's literary style was indeed superior in quality to 
that of most of the German historians, being strong and defi- 
nite and direct, and clear in statement and narration. But 


there was something rugged in it, as there was in the man, 
something sturdily veracious for the truth's sake, something 
disdainful of the pursuit of elegant and artistically graceful 
and picturesque diction. I may remark here by the way that 
Monimsen in this respect may claim the benefit of being judged 
according to the conditions surrounding him. If German 
prose, especially historical, or, more generally, scientific prose, 
is in point of elegance not so highly developed as the prose of 
French and of English literature, this is in my opinion largely 
owing to the German Universities. A German scholar who 
cultivates gracefulness of expression is in danger of being 
counted among the superficial who hide a lack of thoroughness 
in research, or a lack of profoundness in ideas, under orna- 
mental heaps of fine-sounding language. This is a tender 
point with the German scholar, and to escape the suspicion of 
superficiality, he is tempted rather to avoid than to cultivate 
elegance of style. This tendency has had a decidedly un- 
favorable effect upon the development of German prose. 
Things are in this respect perceptibly improving of late, and 
there are some German prose writers now of graceful and lucid 
fluency ; but at the time when Mommsen wrote his Roman 
history the tendency I mentioned still had strong sway. I 
will not say that he avoided elegant writing for fear of com- 
promising his character as a scholar — for he did not fear any- 
thing — but while he was superior in style to most of his 
colleagues, his surroundings did not furnish any incitement to 
the special cultivation of it, and he wrote according to his 
impulsive and energetic nature. 

His historical studies did not serve to withdraw Mommsen 
from an attentive interest in the public affairs of his time, but 
rather inspired him to take an active part in them. He 
plunged resolutely into the revolutionary stream of 1848, and 
soon lost his professorship at the University of Leipzig in con- 
sequence of his participation in the popular uprising in behalf 
of the national constitution framed by the German Parliament 
at Frankfort. A professorship was offered to him in 1852 at 
Zurich in the Swiss Republic, but the Prussian Government 
soon felt that it could ill-spare a scholar like Mommsen, and 
called him in 1854 to a chair in the Breslau University. Four 
years later he was offered a professorship in the University of 
Berlin, — a mark of high distinction. But his official posi- 


tion did not restrain him from proclaiming his political prin- 
ciples and from criticising the course of the government, which 
he did in his pugnacious way whenever provoked by occasion. 
In fact, his unsparing criticisms brought him now and then 
into direct conflict with the authorities, among others with 
that most uncomfortable of antagonists, Prince Bismarck. 
But he always bravely held his own, and not seldom made 
those who had attacked him or responded to his attack sorry 
for having done so. 

He denounced with characteristic vigor the conduct of the 
United States in making war upon Spain and following it up 
with an imperialistic policy of conquest, but, at the instance of 
his friend the American ambassador, Andrew D. White, he 
withdrew the magazine article in which his indignation had 
found expression. Likewise he condemned with extreme 
warmth the subjugation of the Boers by Great Britain, and in 
this case the explosive utterance of his sentiments was not 
withheld from the public. But it was by no means a feeling 
of hostility to the two countries concerned which inspired 
these bursts of resentment ; on the contrary, it was rather the 
bitterness of disappointed love ; for upon the free principles of 
the English and the American governments his hopes for the 
future progress of mankind were founded, and it was a terrible 
shock to him to see occasion for thinking those principles vio- 
lated by the very nations whom he had believed to be not only 
their most powerful but also their most faithful exponents. 

The keen watchfulness with which he observed the political 
developments of his time, and the zest with which he took an 
active part in them, gave a peculiar interest to his historical 
writings; for keeping in mind that human nature is always 
the same and that like causes are always apt to produce like 
effects, his understanding of the past was illumined to him, 
and through him to his readers, by the light thrown upon it 
by the present, and imparted to his presentation of men and 
events and conditions the vivacity of personal acquaintance. 
I think it is not too much to say that, having read the so- 
called standard histories of Rome, and then reading Mommsen, 
you would feel as if you had received an entirely new revela- 
tion, making antiquity live in our day. 

It is needless to speak of his almost boundless working 
capacity, his indefatigable industry, and his rare mastery of 


detail which enabled him to produce such works as the " Cor- 
pus Inscriptionum Latinarum" and various other works of the 
highest value as treasure-stores of carefully collected and 
critically sifted information. Nor need I describe how popular 
a figure lie was in the great German capital, how his caustic 
sayings passed from mouth to mouth, and how the burning of 
his white hair, the " destruction of his beauty," as he called it, 
caused a sensation in Berlin like an event of importance. It 
certainly is a matter of great satisfaction to the whole world 
of science and letters that when he passed away from among 
the living, all ranks of society, from the proudest monarch to 
the most modest citizen, put their wreaths upon the bier of a 
man whose claim to such honor consisted simply in his being 
one of the greatest scholars and historians of his age. 

Mr. James Schouler, from the section for the clay, read 
the following paper which had been postponed from the last 
meeting : — 

The Massachusetts Convention of 1853. 

Massachusetts, as you are aware, is the only State in the 
Union whose people live under a constitution framed in the 
eighteenth century and modified to the present date by amend- 
ment only. Our instrument of Federal Union dates back to 
1787 ; but that of Massachusetts was framed seven years 
earlier, serving in some respects as a model ; and ancient ex- 
pressions may still be read therein, never formally repealed, 
which assert a State sovereignty long since annulled in effect 
by virtue of the supremacy gained by the government of the 
United States. 

Massachusetts has always stood upon her own ways and 
methods, little influenced by the precedents of sister States, 
but insistent upon setting her own historical example while 
tenacious of her ancient customs. Never but twice since that 
well-matured instrument of 1780 was accepted at the polls 
as the flower and full consummation of all Revolutionary plans 
for State government, has a convention been called on our soil 
to consider even the project of a substitute. The first of those 
conventions, which met at the State House on Beacon Hill 
in 1820, resulted simply in proposing to our people fourteen 
articles of amendment, nine of which were adopted by the 


voters, including a definite scheme for incorporating specific 
amendments thenceforward without resort to a convention at 
all. Our second constitutional convention was that of 1853, 
which, likewise held at the Boston State House, submitted 
its results more ambitiously in the shape of a new and modern- 
ized constitution ; but this failed wholly at the polls, though 
influencing, as we shall see, some important changes which 
came, a few years later, through the simpler process of amend- 
ment. Other modifications of our basic law have been made 
from time to time, mostly of the minor sort. But the briefest 
comparison of our present constitution as a whole with those 
at this day of sister States reveals great differences. Massa- 
chusetts still holds to annual elections, once but no longer 
regarded throughout New England as an essential safeguard 
against tyranny. The Governor shares his executive functions, 
as in no other State, with a secret Council, once deputed from 
the Senate or upper house, but now quite distinct from the 
Legislature in its mode of selection, and devoid of the positive 
character it bore in colonial times, when serving as a sort of 
popular check upon the King's vicegerent. Our Legislature 
of two houses holds annual sessions, with all its members 
annually chosen ; and the costly fermentation of resolves, 
public hearings, and the making and unmaking of the laws 
occupies about six months of each calendar year. Such 
organic restraints upon legislative authority as are now found 
in most other States imposed by the people, are here almost 
wholly wanting; and the length of sessions, the recompense 
of members, discretion between special and general legis- 
lation as to the borrowing or appropriation of money, the 
creation of public debt, or the chartering of corporations, — all 
such matters are for the most part regulated and defined in 
Massachusetts, not by fundamental and permanent provisions, 
but simply by the laws of one annual legislature which the 
next is wholly competent to modify or repeal. Public agita- 
tion procured here, not many years ago, the formal proposal 
of a single constitutional amendment for biennial sessions of 
the legislature, but that proposed amendment failed of adop- 
tion at the polls. 

My object, in the present paper, is to set forth concisely the 
doings of our second Massachusetts convention, — that of 1853, 
— which submitted results to the people just about half a 


century ago. The agitation for that convention came from 
the so-called coalitionists, — Free-Soilers and Democrats, — 
who had wrested the control of our Commonwealth from the 
Whigs in 1850, following the ill-starred compromise measures 
of that year in Congress. After repeated proposals from the 
Legislature under their party guidance, our people voted in 
favor of holding such a convention, and delegates were chosen 
thereto from all the towns and cities in March, 1853. The 
convention met on the 4th of May, that same year, and 
after a session of seventy-two days dissolved on the 1st of 
August, with due provision for submitting its work to the 
people in the following November. Three portly volumes, 
edited and published by authority, contain the whole proceed- 
ings of this deliberative body, set forth word for word and 
vote for vote, just as contemporaneously reported by the 
stenographers; and with an appendix, moreover, showing offi- 
cially the tabulated results at the polls, and other essential 
documents, we have for historical study a record almost un- 
precedented in fulness and substance for a popular assembly 
of the kind, and materially complete and trustworthy. They 
who convoked and constituted this convention must have 
looked for fame, like Caesar, when he " bade the Romans 
mark him and write his speeches in their books." 

This assemblage, as chosen, numbered somewhere about 
four hundred and twenty members; a few, however, who had 
been elected, resigning at once their seats by way of signify- 
ing non-acceptance, so as to leave the vacancies unfilled. So 
crowded, indeed, were the delegates in the Representatives' 
Hall at the State House, — many of them being seated in 
the gallery, while few who debated could be heard in every 
part of the chamber, — that members were disposed to trans- 
fer the sessions altogether to some other hall in the city, such 
as the Lowell Institute. This the coalitionists were disposed 
to favor inasmuch as the Legislature of the year, which had 
not yet adjourned, was somewhat reactionary and of a Whig 
complexion. But respect for precedent prevailed, and by the 
time the convention got fairly to work it had the State 
House to itself, except for the quiet executive offices, where 
Whigs once more ruled as in years more remote. The con- 
vention of 1820 which had sat in this hall appears to have 
been almost as numerous; and probably there was never 


a session of this later body when all the members were 

George S. Boutwell, the most illustrious and almost the only 
survivor of this convention of 1853, has expressed the opinion 
that it was " the ablest body of men that ever met in Massa- 
chusetts"; 1 meaning by this, no doubt, to compliment both 
majority and minority elements. For while, of that former 
convention of 1820, Daniel Webster and Joseph Story were 
distinguished members, as also the venerable John Adams, 
who declined because of infirm age the honor of presiding 
officer, its average ability as a whole was much inferior. The 
year 1853 was in fact exceptionally favorable for calling out 
the best character and ability of the two opposing parties in 
the State. That temporary coalition of Free-Soilers and 
Democrats was already losing its brief hold upon the people, 
though strong enough still to carry its choice leaders into this 
convention and to constitute a decided majority. For in the 
November elections of 1852 the Whigs had, by a strong rally, 
gained control of the Legislature for 1853 and elected John 
H. Clifford governor ; and, notwithstanding the overwhelming 
national defeat that year of the presidential ticket headed by 
Winfleld Scott, Massachusetts stood true and loyal to the 
Whig national candidates and Whig principles. In the 
approaching yearly election of 1853 they were destined to 
win one more State victory and the last. Hence the Whig 
delegates chosen this spring to the present convention made 
up a remarkably strong minority, with able representative 
men from every county in the State, and local leaders many 
of whom had done good service in the past and won prestige. 
Edward Everett was not a member of this convention, nor was 
Robert C. Winthrop, but both received still higher honors 
from their party. Daniel Webster had passed away the }'ear 
before. None of the Amoiws, the Hoars, the Higginsons, the 
Eliots, 2 the Lawrences, the Otises were here; scions of the 
great Adams, Phillips, and Quincy families were wanting. 

1 Boutwell's Reminiscences, vol. i, p. 225. On the 7th of July, 1903, ex-Gov- 
ernor Boutwell, ex-Congressman Robert T. Davis of Fall River, and Silas Dean 
of Stoneham met in Boston for dinner, as the last known survivors of this con- 
vention at that late date. But it later appeared that a few other members were 
still living. 

2 Samuel A. Eliot, who was chosen on the Boston list, sent in promptly his 
resignation, thus virtually declining an election. 


Abolitionists of the Garrison school never figured in practical 
politics, nor were literary writers or special educators to be 
seen here. But among prominent men of affairs in the State, 
of differing political antecedents, both the past and the future 
in eminence contributed its quota. Boston returned a solid 
Whig delegation, chosen, as was then customary, upon a gen- 
eral ticket; Sidney Bar tie tt, Francis B. Crowninshield, Rufus 
Choate, John C. Gray, Henry J. Gardner, George S. Hillard, 
Samuel K. Lothrop, Nathan Hale, William Schouler, J. Thomas 
Stevenson, and George B. Upton being of the number. Cam- 
bridge sent strong Whigs in Isaac Livermore and John Sar- 
gent, with two famous professors in Harvard's Law School, 
Simon Greenleaf and Joel Parker. Otis P. Lord of the same 
party was a Salem delegate ; and from Essex County came 
also, among coalitionists, Henry K. Oliver and the aged Robert 
Rantoul, whose promising son had died soon after his election 
with Charles Sumner to the United States Senate. Middle- 
sex County supplied some of the most distinguished members 
of the majority : Nathaniel P. Banks, Jr., of Waltham, Henry 
Wilson of Natick, Josiah G. Abbott and Benjamin F. Butler 
of Lowell, and Richard Frothingham, Jr., of Charlestown ; 
while Charles R. Train, an able Whig, represented Framing- 
ham. From Norfolk County came Francis W. Bird of Walpole ; 
from Plymouth County Moses Bates, Jr., of Plymouth ; from 
Bristol County, ex-Governor Marcus Morton of Taunton ; all 
these were reckoned among the majority. Worcester County 
sent as coalitionists Charles Allen, Isaac Davis, and John M. 
Earle of Worcester, besides Amasa Walker of North Brook- 
field. On the Whig side from the western part of the State 
came George N. Briggs of Pittsfield, Whig governor of the 
State for many years and a plebeian beloved of the patricians ; 
Julius Rockwell, a Whig, from the same town, and Henry L. 
Dawes from Adams ; while Henry W. Bishop of Lenox and 
Chester W. Chapin of Springfield sat as Democrats. Others 
on the roll of this convention were worth mentioning, all able 
and honorable men. 

Under the act which assembled this convention, a citizen 
of Massachusetts might be chosen delegate from any town or 
city where he was not resident ; and to snch a provision sev- 
eral of the most prominent men on the majority side owed their 
S"ats, whose local constituencies were against them. Charles 


Sumner, of Boston, was thus chosen from Marshfield, his own 
city siding with the Whigs; Richard H. Dana, Jr., sat, not 
for Cambridge, but for his paternal town of Manchester ; Ben- 
jamin F. Hallett, a strong Boston Democrat, was chosen for 
Wilbraham. Among others who sat for towns in which they 
did not reside were Whiting Griswold of Greenfield, Edward 
L. Keyes of Dedham, S. B. Phinney of Barnstable, and D. W. 
Alvord of Greenfield. Anson Burlingame, the fiery young 
Free-Soil orator of Cambridge, was chosen by Northborough, 
a town he had never seen ; and the method by which George 
S. Boutwell, the ex-Governor, was made a delegate, was still 
more remarkable, Groton and his fellow-townsmen having 
failed him at the polls. It happened that Henry Wilson, to 
make sure of his own election, had stood as a candidate for 
two places, Natick and Berlin; both of which towns chose 
him to the convention. Thereupon he accepted the one elec- 
tion and declined the other, urging the convention at his 
earliest opportunity to order a new election for Berlin., The 
vacancy he meant for his friend and party associate Mr. 
Boutwell. An eager debate sprang up at once in the conven- 
tion over this anomalous situation, — for other vacancies were 
left unfilled, — and the manner in which the new election 
should be ordered was warmly discussed. The majority view 
prevailed; and, chosen presently to the vacancy, under a 
secret ballot rule, Mr. Boutwell took his seat before the close 
of May in this convention, — the delegate, like Burlingame, 
as he tells us, of a town he had never seen. 

Boutwell's Reminiscences make note of the fact that in 
several instances both father and son served together in this 
body. His own father sat as a delegate from Lunenburg. 
Besides Marcus Morton, Sr., from Taunton, twice governor of 
Massachusetts by a meagre vote, came Marcus Morton, Jr., 
from Andover, who rose later to be chief justice. Samuel 
French and Rodney French sat likewise as father and son. 
Several eminent members of the convention added at this 
time the " Jr." to their own surnames, — Banks, Dana, Bates, 
and Frothingham being thus denoted. 

The convention was called to order by the venerable Robert 
Rantoul, as senior delegate and survivor from the former con- 
vention of 1820. The test of opposing party strength followed 
in the election of presiding officer ; and Mr. Banks of Wal- 



tham, who had for two years served with acceptance as speaker 
of the coalition House, was chosen president of this conven- 
tion on the first ballot by a vote of 250 to 137, over ex-Gover- 
nor Briggs, upon whom the opposition had united. There 
were two secretaries, William S. Robinson, clerk of the House 
in a later era, and James T. Robinson, afterwards a judge of 
probate. Rev. Dr. Samuel K. Lothrop, of the Boston delega- 
tion, made both the opening and closing prayer of this conven- 
tion, at the request of his fellow-members. On the sixth day's 
session President Banks appointed committees to consider the 
various details of the existing constitution and report such 
changes as might seem desirable. Upon the various committee 
reports came the chief debates, as also the chief voting, first 
in committee of the whole and afterwards in convention. 
The principal chairmanships went to Messrs. Sumner, Wilson, 
Griswold, Davis of Worcester, and Morton of Taunton. Upon 
Mr. Boutwell devolved in due time the chairmanship of still 
another committee, appointed to prepare the draft of a new 

The index to the three official volumes which I have men- 
tioned confirms a careful study of their pages as to the men 
who actually led in this convention, and the chief topics 
which entered into discussion. Only 234 members — ■ or little 
more than half the whole number chosen — took part in the 
proceedings at all, further than possibly to record their votes. 
And the voting tables show that, whenever an important pro- 
posal came to a positive test, very many of the members would 
absent themselves, or while in their seats refrain from voting. 
Ninety men all told, or rather more than one-fifth of the dele- 
gates, took a really active part, and to these should belong the 
chief honors, since they bore the chief burden. On the major- 
ity side led Henry Wilson, of later renown in the United 
States Senate, president of the Massachusetts upper house in 
recent years, and a coalitionist of Whig and Free-Soil ante- 
cedents. His capacity for discussion in a deliberative body 
never shone brighter than in the present one. Boutwell, 
when once an admitted member, was his strong coadjutor ; a 
Free-Soil Democrat, and lately for two successive years the 
coalition Governor of the State. On occasion Griswold, Bird, 
and Keyes, all of whom were Free-Soilers, gave them good 
support. Of the coalition contingent which was more strictly 


Democratic, Benjamin F. Butler was perhaps most frequently 
in evidence; a debater adroit and ready in such a gathering, 
pungent and pugnacious in his remarks, so as sometimes to 
hurt rather than help the cause he chose to espouse, but al- 
ways entertaining the many present by his ready wit, sarcasm, 
and spicy personalities. With more dignity and decorum 
Benjamin F. Halle tt, an old-fashioned Democrat, was a pro- 
nounced advocate on the same side ; and also Josiah G. Abbott, 
a lawyer of growing reputation. 

Against such opponents the Whigs had chiefly to assert 
strongly their own views and then be voted down; but the 
ability and good humor with which they met the adversary 
and exposed his fallacies while pressing proposals of their 
own, won them afterwards at the polls a substantial triumph. 
Such leaders used diversely their diverse gifts of political ex- 
perience. Among progressive Whigs who came to this con- 
vention, not simply to obstruct, but as really desiring to 
amend the constitution in some respects, William Schouler, an 
experienced journalist and legislator, was the most constant 
and conspicuous champion on the floor ; he was about to 
remove this year to Ohio to take up there a new career in 
journalism, never expecting to live in Massachusetts again. 
On effective opportunity ex-Governor Briggs gave him a 
hearty and sympathetic support, and so at a particular crisis 
did Charles R. Train. Richard H. Dana, Jr., was an impres- 
sive man in this convention, and made several excellent 
speeches ; but his course was too independent to secure him 
a strong following, and his vote and influence went rather 
against his former Whig associates, at the same time that he 
did not wholly identify himself with the coalition. Of Whig 
conservatives who fought chiefly by obstruction, Otis P. Lord 
and George S. Hillard, strong and forcible debaters, were 
prominent, making many a sharp thrust at the majorit}^ The 
former, soon to be chosen speaker of the last Whig House of 
Representatives that ever sat in Massachusetts, freely ridi- 
culed the solicitude of his present adversaries on behalf of 
"the people," " the dear people," and declared that he himself 
went much beyond any of them by liberally including under 
such a designation " all the nursing babies and their mothers." 

Other men eminent and conspicuous in this convention — 
and those especially who had been chosen on the Whig and 


minority side — gave less constant attendance from day to 
day than those I have mentioned, but on occasion would 
deliver after due preparation effective speeches. Able and dis- 
tinguished lawyers, who otherwise were seldom heard, has- 
tened to take part when some abstruse professional point was 
raised or the judiciary establishment came under discussion. 
Pre-eminent among such speakers was Rufus Choate, the 
most brilliant and remarkable man in this whole body, as 
party friends and foes have equally conceded. 1 It was his 
great speech of July, against changing the judicial tenure for 
life or good behavior, which more than any other utterance in 
the whole convention carried eventually the people against 
the submitted changes ; and one eloquent passage of that 
speech long lingered in men's memories, in which he described 
the character of the upright judge in verses solemnly recited 
from the Book of Job. In an earlier speech here and on an 
earlier occasion he adjured his fellow-members to ^ spare the 
rust of the constitution " ; but that expression led some of his 
fellow-Whigs to declare that they for their part wished a con- 
stitution without rust of any kind, — bright and scoured, if 
need be, to suit the needs of the living age. Choate in these 
weeks stood up manfully for Massachusetts institutions as 
they were ; defining his native Commonwealth as " an aggre- 
gate of social and political perfection ; absolute security, com- 
bined with as niuch liberty as you can live in." 

Some among the delegates won less praise by their pres- 
ence in this convention than posterity has inclined to award 
them presumptively, upon their permanent merits. On the 
Whig side, particularly, were many men of superior cast 
who for one reason or another — and, likely enough, chiefly 
because the convention w r as so completely out of their own 
control — took little pains to influence its deliberations. 
Among these were some of the Boston delegates, prominent 
in other pursuits of life. Julius Rockwell, who soon won the 
best of fleeting public honors such as Massachusetts Whigs 
had still to bestow, was to all intents among the silent mem- 
bers here. Henry L. Dawes, also from thrice-renowned Berk- 
shire County, whose long and illustrious career was soon to 

1 Mr. Choate during this year (1853) served as Attorney-General of the 
Commonwealth, appointed under the older method, and John H. Clifford himself 
succeeded to that post, after serving the present year as Governor. 


commence in Congress on a broadening sphere as Represen- 
tative, confined his present remarks mostly to the dry topic 
of loaning the State credit, being spokesman on behalf of 
his Hoosac Tunnel constituents. Charles Sumner himself, 
though prominently placed in this convention as chairman of 
a responsible committee, was far from giving such practical 
direction as his talents and high character, or his successor- 
ship at Washington to the great Webster, might have led his 
party to expect. At this early date, indeed, he was much less 
qualified than many of his present associates for leading or 
impressing' a large deliberative body ; and the few speeches 
which he made here were too polished and oracular, too eru- 
dite, not to add too lengthy, to suit so critical an audience. 
On the well-discussed question of a district system for the 
Massachusetts House of Representatives, he took the floor, 
July 7, and occupied nearly the whole forenoon with a 
learned speech full of historical citations, ancient and modern, 
not many of them pertinent, to enforce the illogical stand of 
the majority ; and its chief effect was to induce the conven- 
tion to make presently a new rule which limited all future 
speeches to an hour. Later in the session, when the still 
shorter limit was fixed of fifteen minutes, he brought forward 
his report as chairman of a committee while the convention 
sat in committee of the whole ; and the hammer fell before he 
had finished his exordium. The courteous occupant of the 
chair was disposed to rule that by a simple vote then and 
there the restriction of time might be suspended in his favor ; 
but some members contending, on the contrary, that no sus- 
pension of such a rule was proper without reporting back from 
committee of the whole to the convention itself, Mr. Sumner, 
somewhat in chagrin, cut discussion short by peremptorily 
refusing to extend his remarks. 

The dignity and decorum of this great assemblage was in 
general well maintained through many long weeks of mid- 
summer heat. Sallies interchanged in debate were given and 
received good-naturedly, and if ill-feeling was ever engendered 
some judicious delegate stood ready to allay its exhibition by 
his timely and tactful diversion. To this arose a single excep- 
tion, which I may here recall, since it remains in print and of 
permanent record. Mr. Dana's espousal of the majority plan 
of House representation, which Bostonians deemed unfair 


because so partial to the small towns and so oblivious to the 
test of numbers, led his personal friend, Mr. Hillard, to remon- 
strate with him on the floor. The latter, a man fastidious 
and scholarly in speech, inclining to Shakespearian quotations 
and figurative expression, recalled that both he and Mr. Dana, 
as fellow-practitioners at the Boston bar, owed much to influ- 
ential clients who resided in that city ; and it did not become 
them, he added, to strike at the hand that fed them. Mr. 
Dana's quick response was that of lofty indignation : " The 
hand that feeds us ! the hand that feeds us ! No hand feeds 
me that has any right to control my opinions ! " So far as 
these two gentlemen were concerned nothing more was heard 
in discussion ; rejoinder must have been impossible, for the 
righteous reproof given by Mr. Dana was complete. But un- 
fortunately the news of this little encounter upon the floor 
spread in and out of the convention, and Mr. Hillard, who was 
sensitive in spirit, suffered keenly from the misconception or 
hyper-construction given far and wide to his remarks. Oppo- 
nents in the convention soon made pointed allusion to this 
episode, as though to emphasize the subservience of Whig 
professional men to the rich and powerful of the community. 
Mr. Butler of Lowell, one of these opponents, employed the 
taunt repeatedly in open and offensive derision; the second 
occasion being in the course of a debate upon probate judges, 
wherein he contended that if judges could only be made elec- 
tive by the people their manners on the bench would become 
less overbearing. Mr. Hillard bided his time, and then arose 
to make some further remarks, which he had carefully pre- 
meditated. Paying his personal respects to tormentors in the 
convention who had so perverted from its intended meaning 
his unfortunate phrase concerning " the hand that fed him," 
and explaining what he really meant by it, he entered the dis- 
cussion as though to justify the present manners of the bench. 
There were members of the bar, he contended, who themselves 
gave offence ; " swaggering about the court-house with the 
port and bearing of a bar-room bully, insulting witnesses and 
treating opposing counsel with indignities studied and un- 
studied." u So long as we have jackals and hyenas at the 
bar," he concluded, " I hope we shall have a lion on the bench, 
who with one stroke of his vigorous paw can, if need be, bring 
their scalps right down over their eyes." No name was men- 


tioned by him, but the force of the intended application was 
perceived at once ; and Mr. Wilson was quickly on his feet, 
calling the gentleman to order for applying such harsh and 
bitter language to any fellow-member of the present conven- 
tion. But the sense of this body was evidently to leave the 
blow where it had fallen, and the debate upon probate judges 
soon resumed its usual channel. Both antagonists were in a 
few days taking each his regular part in debating, with their 
customary composure, though with an evident wish to avoid 
personalities for the rest of the session ; Mr. Butler merely 
remarking, in a jocose way, when he next arose to speak, that 
some of his fellow-members seemed to regard him as a hyena. 1 

The sudden death of one respected member, Francis R. 
Gourgas, of Concord, who had taken a somewhat prominent 
part in the earlier debates, left its chastening effect upon this 
convention, whose closing weeks happily were characterized 
by reciprocal good-will and forbearance. No speeches could 
have been more admirable or appropriate for warmth of feel- 
ing, united with simple dignity of utterance, than that of 
ex-Governor Briggs, which voiced the thanks of the conven- 
tion to their able and impartial presiding officer ; and Mr. 
Banks's own generous response when he declared the conven- 
tion finally adjourned. I may here remark that the President 
had seldom spoken or voted in the convention, but confined 
himself closely to his official functions. 

It has generally been conceded, by the friends and foes 
alike of this distinguished body, that the total failure of its 
work at the elections which followed in November was due, 
most of all, to the unwise and unexpected attempt made to 
change the judicial tenure ; and some of the disappointed 
leaders of the majority have inclined to attribute their abor- 

1 It should be mentioned that another of those to whom Mr. Hillard had bit- 
terly alluded in the speech above quoted, as taunting him over " the hand that 
fed him," made his own personal rejoinder at a later day ; whereupon the gen- 
tleman from Boston, after assurances that he cherished no unkind feeling towards 
this latter speaker (Mr. John B. Alley, of Lynn), expressed his final regret to the 
convention for the tone of personal justification into which he had recently 
fallen, and desired that the whole episode be forgotten. But the phrase was 
long remembered by Mr. Hillard's contemporaries. In Boutwell's Reminis- 
cences will be found a passing allusion to it, while the Dana-Hillard contro- 
versy is described, with some other interesting details of the convention, by our 
President, Charles Francis Adams, in his Life of Richard H. Dana, the data being 
largely derived from Mr. Dana's own diary. Adams's Dana, vol. i. pp. 233-250. 



tive efforts to that cause alone. A careful analysis of the 
popular vote, as tabulated, seems hardly to justify the latter 
inference. The coalitionists here displeased the people in 
other respects, and the evident intent of our voters was to 
shame them utterly. For we must not picture this incohesive 
coalition majority as a zealous band of blind but consistent 
reformers. On the contrary, they felt already that their popu- 
lar influence was lapsing, and their leaders stood for various 
plausible changes, which were lamentably deficient, in the 
hope of maintaining their aggregate strength in the State. 
But the Whig minority outgeneralled them in the convention, 
and stood in the main for changes which rested upon sound 
and consistent principle. They better interpreted what at 
this time the people of Massachusetts really wanted by way 
of reform. The majority, on the other hand, did not fairly 
trust the people whose rights they championed, nor even at- 
tempt to do as "they had promised; so, as one of their own 
number expressed it in debate, the conservatives had got upon 
the engine while the radicals stood at the brake. 

Two leading topics, the proper basis of representation for 
the House and the application of the plurality rule in elec- 
tions, well illustrate this political contrast. To arrange for a 
Legislature smaller and more exact in total membership than 
hitherto, and of symmetrical composition, was a change felt 
highly desirable at that particular time. The majority framed 
well a new Senate upon such a plan, with the counties of the 
State cut up into contiguous districts of equal population ; 
but when it came to the House, they chose, perhaps out of 
deference to their own rural supporters, to retain town repre- 
sentation largely, as before, to the detriment of cities. In 
short, the precise basis of numbers and population, though 
good for the Senate, was not equally good for the House ; and 
the Whigs — those of Boston in particular — took immediate 
ground that Senate and House ought both to be based upon 
equal representation under a district scheme, that the equal 
rights of mankind should in each case be respected. Driven 
by pressure of argument and the force of outside sentiment, 
the coalition majority, while still insisting upon their incon- 
gruous plan, consented that, after a census taken in 1855, 
the Legislature in 1856 might at discretion take the sense of 
the voters once more ; changing, should the referendum so re- 


suit, to a House arranged by districts upon a popular basis of 
numbers similar to the Senate. On the plurality question the 
majority brought forth a like crude result, and then yielded a 
still weaker concession. Insistence upon a majority vote for 
elections, with re-trial or a legislative selection in case of fail- 
ure, fostered great practical evils, which other States of the 
Union had already corrected in their constitutions, and there 
were Whigs in this convention who desired quite as heartily 
to see the plurality rule adopted in Massachusetts as the coali- 
tionists, whose appeal for a convention had in fact promised to 
the people such a change. But when it came to action the 
majority had not the courage of their conviction ; and the pro- 
posal they decided to submit gave only half the loaf of reform. 
In county elections for Senators and Councillors the plurality 
rule was to apply; but a majority vote should still be required 
to elect as before, where other candidates for office were con- 
cerned. Hence, if the Governor or other high officials of the 
executive branch should fail of a majority at the polls, the 
election would be thrown into the Legislature — the older plan 
prevalent in these American States, and a standing menace 
still in our Federal constitution ; while if Representatives or 
municipal officers failed of a majority, re-trials must follow 
until some one was thus chosen. This shilly-shallying with a 
principle the Whigs derided, and they pressed so strongly for 
a full and comprehensive plurality rule in all elections that at 
one stage of the convention, sustained by public opinion out- 
side, they brought the vote to a tie, — the closest approach to 
victory in any measure they here proposed. The casting vote 
of the presiding officer baffled them at that point ; and pres- 
ently the convention majority produced a sop of compromise 
still less acceptable to the people than that on the Representa- 
tive issue. While limiting the application of a plurality rule 
as before, they granted the right to any Legislature hereafter, 
allowing a year's interval, to substitute a full plurality rule for 
elections ; or, once again, with a similar interval, to go back to 
the present partial plurality plan as here adopted. 1 

Even on the fatal issue of changing our judicial establish- 
ment the coalition majority dealt crudely with the subject ; 
once more irritating the people without satisfying themselves. 

1 As to this " plurality patch-up," Josiah G. Abbott observed that the lion's 
skin was not one-quarter big enough to hide what was beneath it. 


When considering county and municipal officers, they placed 
judges of probate among the other county officers, to take their 
chances henceforth in a triennial election ; they applied a like 
local test of the elective suffrage to judges of police courts 
aud to trial justices. But when it came to the high courts of 
justice in this Commonwealth, where the double dignity of life 
tenure, and of executive appointment or promotion had long 
protected the incumbent in the safe seclusion of honest inde- 
pendence, the convention majority laid ruthless hands on the 
one safeguard, while leaving the other untouched. In other 
words, they proposed for the people no share in the choice of 
such incumbents, but the incumbency itself was to be reduced 
from a tenure for life or good behavior to a brief and specific 
ten years, with only the doubtful chance for a reappointment. 
Any good and acceptable judge may be re-elected openly at the 
polls when his ten years' term runs out, if popular suffrage be 
relied upon ; but what stability can he expect by doing well 
his work, if his continuance in office is to depend upon a chief 
executive, chosen for a single year, whose secret pledges or 
obligations to rivals for the vacancy are not for disclosure ? 
And here it is worth observing that this constitutional inva- 
sion of the judicial sphere came unexpectedly to the people 
of Massachusetts, who had not been apprised of any cher- 
ished intention to propose changes in that respect ; and that 
the shrewdest of the coalitionists were themselves reluctant 
to meddle with such matters. Marcus Morton, senior, of 
Taunton, who was chairman of the committee on amendments 
in this respect, reported in favor of vesting judicial power in 
the supreme judicial court and such other courts as the Legis- 
lature should from time to time establish ; in favor, likewise, 
of abolishing the pronouncement of opinions by the supreme 
justices at the request of Governor or Legislature ; but he 
reported unfavorably from his committee in respect of further 
changes. Mr. Wilson, however, led the more radical of the 
majority in overriding this committee and causing a final 
adoption of the changes I have mentioned. The Whigs, on 
the other hand, stood strongly for the existing judicial estab- 
lishment unaltered, and, as the event proved, the voters of 
Massachusetts were with them. 

By no means, therefore, did the convention of 1853 show in 
its responsible results the full courage of radical convictions 


for reform, and to their own shortcomings its majority owed 
chiefly their disastrous failure at the polls in November. To 
sum up briefly the proposed changes, the text of the old in- 
strument was well treated ; " the rust of the constitution " 
disappeared, and the time-honored tablets of our fundamental 
law remained substantially as before, with the original lan- 
guage, structure, and phraseology well preserved. Tins work 
was quietly done in committee towards the close of the ses- 
sion and called out little or no adverse comment. Criticism 
and contention came rather upon the provisions, newly incor- 
porated by the convention, after debate. These, in addition 
to the changes I have mentioned, — as to the judiciary, as to 
the representative basis for a legislature, and as to the plu- 
rality vote in elections, — embraced some minor ones of con- 
sequence. Sessions of the Legislature were by indirection 
limited to one hundred days, the recompense of members to 
be fixed and limited by standing laws. The property qualifi- 
cation of Governor and Lieutenant-Governor was abolished. 
The Council was made a self-sufficient body^ chosen directly 
by the people in single districts, to mingle in the executive 
functions as before. 1 The Attorney-General, Secretary of 
State, Auditor and Treasurer, high officials hitherto appointed 
by the Governor or else chosen by the General Court, were 
hereafter to be elected by the people ; thus bringing into the 
executive department each year a complete set of high func- 
tionaries, together with the Council, not one of whom would 
owe allegiance to either Chief Magistrate or the Legislature. 
County officers, who had hitherto been appointed by the execu- 
tive or the courts, incumbents practically for a long period — 
namely, registers, sheriffs, clerks of courts, commissioners of 
insolvency, district attorneys, county commissioners, — all 
these, together with judges of probate, were henceforth to 
depend upon the local voters for a triennial election. All 
property qualifications, whether for voters or for public offi- 
cers, were removed. Against Whig contention that a writ- 
ten constitution ought to prefer general to specific enumeration, 
the convention committed itself not simply to secret voting, 

1 Many of the coalition majority were for wiping out a council altogether, 
nor was it permitted to continue secret sessions without the condition that its 
records should hereafter be subject to public inspection at the demand of either 
branch of the Legislature. 


but to secret ballot by the means of sealed envelopes furnished 
by the State — -a method devised and sanctioned by the coali- 
tionists in those years for the voters, but since superseded. 
Changes were proposed in respect of the militia ; for asserting 
stronger State supervision of Harvard College ; concerning the 
school fund ; and for summoning constitutional conventions in 
the future once in twenty years, upon a popular referendum 
vote. The annual State elections were to be on the Tuesday 
following the first Monday in November, so as to conform to 
the rule of Congress for national elections. 

Such were the main features of this new constitutional 
scheme which the convention of 1853 proposed at the polls 
for adoption ; and it was decided to submit the draft of a new 
instrument containing all these changes together, with no 
chance for a vote upon any of the provisions separately. 
Proposition I. stood, therefore, for a direct vote of the people, 
yes or no : Shall this preamble, declaration of rights, and 
frame of government stand as the constitution of the Common- 
wealth of Massachusetts? Seven other propositions were 
separately submitted at the same time, embodying other 
changes which the convention favored, but left to stand each 
on its separate merits. II. Enlarging the present remedies 
by habeas corpus. III. Giving juries the right to determine 
the law and facts in criminal cases. IV. Favoring a judicial 
investigation of claims against the Commonwealth. V. In- 
creasing the present restraints upon imprisonment for debt. 
VI. Against appropriating the school fund for the benefit 
of any religious sect. VII. To provide for business incor- 
poration under general rather than special laws. VIII. For 
bank incorporation upon a like distinction, and so that bank 
notes should be redeemable in specie. 

The vote of the people upon these eight propositions was 
taken throughout the State on the second Monday of the 
ensuing November ; and the result showed that each and every 
proposition was rejected summarily at the polls. Proposition 
I., which embraced the new draft of a constitution incorpor- 
ating the main schemes of the convention, was voted down 
by 63,222 yeas to 68,150 nays; and each of the other propo- 
sitions, as submitted, failed by a vote more or less decisive, 
not one of them being carried at the polls. Proposition VI. 
(against using the school fund for sectarian purposes) nearly 


prevailed ; while III. (giving juries the right to determine both 
law and facts) received at the polls a condemnation even more 
hearty and emphatic than the new constitutional draft itself. 
Suffolk County cast an immense vote against each and every 
proposition submitted for adoption ; Essex and Middlesex fol- 
lowed with an emphatic disapproval ; Hampshire, Norfolk, 
Plymouth, and Barnstable gave an adverse preponderance. 
But Worcester, Hampden, Franklin, and Berkshire Counties, 
all to the westward of the State, gave affirmative majorities, 
and so by a close vote did Bristol. 

The same November elections of 1853 continued the Whigs 
in power. Emory Washburn, of Worcester, was chosen Gover- 
nor, and once again, and for the last time in history, the great 
national party founded by Clay and Webster controlled our 
State Legislature in both branches. In this Whig body six 
articles of amendment were at once initiated for adoption, 
which the succeeding Legislature accepted and submitted 
separately to the people after the mode prescribed by our 
State constitution. These, in May, 1855, were all approved 
and ratified at the polls and became henceforth part of our 
fundamental law : (1) The plurality principle was adopted in 
its integrity for all elections of civil officers by the people- 
(2) The Tuesday next after the first Monday in November 
was established as the State election day. (3) Councillors 
were to be chosen by the people, under a scheme which laid 
out equal and contiguous councillor districts based upon the 
number of inhabitants. (4) The Secretary, Treasurer, Auditor, 
and Attorney-General were henceforth to be chosen by the 
people. (5) Provision was made against appropriating school 
funds for any religious sect. (6) Sheriffs, registers of probate, 
clerks of courts, and district attorneys (but not judges of pro- 
bate as proposed in 1853) were henceforward to be chosen by 
the people. 1 Whigs and coalitionists having by this time 
passed out of Massachusetts politics together, while their in- 
fluence lingered, two more amendments, adopted for proposal 
by the Legislatures of 1856 and 1857, were approved and rati- 
fied by the people May 1, 1857. These established for the 
future a legislature whose basis in both Houses (and not in 
the Senate alone, as proposed in 1853) should be that of con- 

1 See present amendments to the State constitution numbered respectively 


tiguons districts arranged according to the relative number 
of legal voters as established from time to time by a decennial 
census, the House to consist of two hundred and forty members 
and the Senate of fort} 7 . 1 

All these eight amendments, which remain still embodied 
in the fundamental law of our State, were the direct and 
speedy result of the debates in the convention of 1853 and 
originated in proposals made on one side or the other ; and 
whatever merit posterity may attach to those particular changes, 
and to the moulding of public opinion of Massachusetts in 
their favor, should be shared between Whigs and coalitionists, 
between the majority and minority leaders alike of that famous 

Note. The following members of the Constitutional Convention were also 
chosen to our Massachusetts Historical Society, at an earlier or later date than 
1853 : — 

Hon. Nathan Hale, LL.D., chosen 1820. 

Hon. Charles W. Upham, LL.D., chosen 1832 and resigned 1852; not a mem- 
ber in 1853, but re-elected to the Society in 1807. 

Hon. Rufus Choate, LL.D., chosen 1835. 

Hon. Simon Greenleaf, LL.D., chosen 1837; died October 6, 1853, about a 
month before the proposed constitution was submitted to the vote of the people. 

Hon. John C. Gray, LL.D., chosen 1841. 

Hon. George 8. Hillard, LL D., chosen 1843. 

Rev. George W. Blagden, D.D., chosen 1844. 

Hon. Richard Frothingham, LL.D., chosen 1846. 

Rev. Samuel K. Lothrop, D D., chosen 1854. 

Hon. Richard H. Dana, LL.D., chosen 1858. 

Hon. William Appleton, chosen 1858. 

Hon. Joel Parker, LL.D., chosen 1859. 

Hon. Charles Sumner, LL.D., chosen 1873. 

The hour being late, Mr. Josiah P. Quincy, from the same 
section, presented the following paper by title : — 

The Louisiana Purchase; and the Appeal to Posterity. 

In an American city recently conspicuous before the world 
for what is corrupt and disheartening in democratic govern- 
ment at the present stage of its evolution, we are about to 
celebrate the purchase of the vast territory once known as 
Louisiana. The treaty with France by which this exten- 
sive domain was added to the confederated States which 
had chosen Thomas Jefferson as their chief magistrate, was 

1 See Amendments XXI. and XXII. 


lauded — I may say officially lauded — in that city not many 
months ago. It is soon to be celebrated with yet more mag- 
nificence. The glory that has come to us from this extension 
of the Union will' doubtless be contrasted — as it has already 
been contrasted — with the unpatriotic objections of certain 
"little Americans" (so an official personage recently called 
them) who asserted that the violation of the Federal Consti- 
tution embodied in the treaty with France was wrong in prin- 
ciple and likety to prove disastrous in outcome. That the 
Constitution, as it then stood, was violated has been admitted 
by men whose competency in judgment cannot be denied. 

President Jefferson and his Secretary of State, James Madi- 
son, one of the framers of the great compact, head the list. 
Their names can easily be followed by those of eminent states- 
men and publicists. One of Thomas Jefferson's biographers 
is constrained to admit that in this matter "the Executive 
authority had to be stretched until it cracked." And our as- 
sociate Mr. Morse in his admirable life of the third President 
disposes of the subject after this fashion : " The Government 
was without Constitutional authority to make the purchase 
upon terms which substantially involved the speedy admission 
of the new territory in the shape of new States to the Union." 

Somewhat conspicuous among other remonstrants was 
Josiah Quincy, a representative from this State to that Con- 
gress when it was decided to carry out the most objectionable 
provision of the treaty with France by admitting Louisiana as 
an equal with the States which had agreed to unite for certain 
purposes under a general government. Alluding to his pro- 
test against the violation of the contract which established the 
Union, Mr. Quincy said : " By this people and by the event if 
this bill passes, I am willing to be judged whether it be not a 
voice of wisdom." 

A hundred years have passed since the Louisiana purchase, 
and by the voices most in evidence Mr. Quincy's remonstrance 
is judged and condemned. Condemned also is the approval 
of his friend John Lowell who assured the congressman that 
his warning: of evil to come from the admission of States to 
the Union, otherwise than by the means prescribed by the 
Constitution, would do him " more credit with posterity " than 
anything he had ever done. Well, posterity has arrived — 
— that is, an infinitesimal portion of it — and with resonant 



periods of rhetoric supported by din of drum and cannon, it is 
read) r to dishonor the draft that Mr. Lowell drew upon it. 

It is an acknowledged function of an historical society to sit 
as a court of appeal competent to reverse the hasty judgments 
passed by contemporaries upon some memorable event. Its 
jurisdiction may be stretched somewhat further. I think it 
may question the decisions of any of the ever-increasing se- 
quence of posterities — even of that one among them which 
happens to be clamorous in its immediate environment. 

There are two ways of regarding histor\ r . We are some- 
times told — oftener to-day than ever before — that the turns 
and twists in its turbid stream simply register the results of 
cosmical and biological conditions, and that it is inconceivable 
that it should have run in other channels than those it actually 
filled. When, told that we must so regard the rushing flood 
that has landed us upon this bank and shoal of time where for 
a moment we are permitted to stand, I can command no logic 
to show the determinist that he is wrong. On the contrary, 
he can annihilate me with legitimate deductions from the pro- 
nouncements of Science and Theology — not less from the 
teachings of Darwin and Haeckel, of Bain and Maudsley, than 
from those of the great theologians Augustine, Calvin, Ed- 
wards. He can leave me .no resource but to change the 
"Credo quia impossibile est*' of Tertullian into Credo tan- 
quam impossibile est — and so make an end of it. 

I shall assume that all here present agree with these words 
of the late Lord Acton quoted with approval by Mr. Bryce : 
" It is the office of historical science to maintain morality as the 
sole impartial criterion of men and things." Otherwise we 
might well follow the example of the ancients and erect altars 
to Fortune as the only discernible director of human affairs. 
An historical tribunal can by no means adopt the word " patri- 
otism " as a summan r of the whole duty of man. It should be 
free from the bias of nationality. To say that an act must 
meet its approval because it tended to the aggrandizement of 
a people occupying a given division of the earth's surface is 
quite beside the mark. The only question to be considered is 
whether a direction of history, initiated by this or that respon- 
sible human act, was clearly a beneficent factor in the evolu- 
tion of our race towards those moral and social altitudes which 
it is pleasant to assume man is destined to attain. If it is 


decided that this was the case, then those who opposed that 
act must be held up for censure as examples of short-sighted- 
ness, captiousness, and error. 

I propose to say a few words in mitigation of the sentence 
hastily passed upon those Massachusetts men who were op- 
posed to the provision of the treaty with France which re- 
sulted in the admission of the State of Louisiana — to its 
admission without the restriction prohibiting slavery which 
under the Ordinance of 1787 had been applied to the north- 
western territory which Congress had been permitted to divide 
into States. 

Of Thomas Jefferson, the most picturesque figure in our line 
of Presidents, — -though some might except the present incum- 
bent of that office, — I need say little. I have heard him pre- 
sented from the sombre point of view of Federalists who were 
his contemporaries, and we all know the honeyed emulsions 
with which his biography has been administered to the readers 
of Parton and Watson. No one can doubt our indebtedness 
to him as a great phrase-maker. He has left us sentences 
which embody ideals fit to be held aloft for the contemplation 
of his countrymen, and which should spur them to an ever- 
increasing effort to embody them in conduct. I think it would 
be difficult to improve upon Hamilton's characterization of at 
least one side of this fascinating personality : " A man of sub- 
limated and paradoxical imaginations." Sublimated, in its 
figurative sense of pure and refined, many of these imagina- 
tions certainly were ; that some of them were paradoxical is 
evident from the most cursory examination of what he has left 
us. One of the most stimulating of Jefferson's sayings gave 
his views respecting the qualifications for office in this repub- 
lic. The competency of the applicant was to be determined 
by the affirmative answer to three questions: " Is he honest, 
is he capable, is he faithful to the Constitution ? " Upon as- 
suming the duties of his great office the President makes oath 
that to the best of his ability he will " preserve, protect, and 
defend the Constitution of the United States." President Jef- 
ferson by his own confession was unfaithful to the Constitution. 
He admitted that he had " no right to double and more than 
double the area of the United States " under the conditions 
stated in the treaty with France. That act was condemned 
by the legislature of Massachusetts as well as by her promi- 


nent citizens. It has been applauded by more numerous 
voices. Its admirers have likened it to the action of a trustee 
who exceeded the restrictions of the deed of trust in order to 
make an investment greatly to the advantage of its benefi- 
ciaries. I can neither admit that this comparison fits the case, 
nor that a trustee would be excusable who so disregarded his 
instructions. Yet I am not disposed to deny that occasions 
are conceivable when not only the law of the land but the most 
imperative of the Ten Commandments might be rightly put 
aside. Such a case was given in the newspapers some years 
ago. As the result of a railroad accident, a man was lying in 
agony — his legs crushed and held by the engine which had 
fallen upon him. Flames that could not be extinguished were 
rapidly approaching. The sufferer asked a by-stander to re- 
lieve him from prolonged and useless torture by a bullet from 
a pistol. I dare not say that some insignificant man in the 
street would have done wrong by complying with that pa- 
thetic petition. But how if the request had been to one of 
high and conspicuous position, — -to the governor of the State 
or to the chief justice of its court? Then it should never 
have been granted. Why? We may read the answer, good 
for all time, in the Shakespearian drama. When it was urged 
that the officials of the Venetian court should wrench the law 
to their authority and so do a great right by doing a little 
wrong, the representative of the learned jurist of Paclua gives 
no uncertain rebuke to the proposal. And the answer was 
not unworthy of the learned jurist of England who by some 
persons, not altogether demented, is believed at times to have 
uttered himself through the player at the Globe Theatre, 

" 'T will be recorded for a precedent; 

And many an error, by the same example, 
Will rush into the State : it caimot be." 

The admission of Louisiana, by means not sanctioned by the 
Constitution, was recorded for a precedent, and many, an error 
by the same example has rushed into the State. Mr. Quincy 
did not live long enough to see his country expanding by 
aggressive war in Asiatic islands, but he did live long enough 
to be satisfied of the wisdom of his remonstrance. The deeds 
of one generation largely influence the ideas of the next: they, 
control its thought. And " this humdrum politician " (so he 


has recently been called) was confirmed in his belief that 
such specious and temporary gain as may be reached by dis- 
respect to organic law must be paid for by a loss that will far 
exceed it. He lived to see this violation of the Constitution 
pass into a tradition; and the history of Church and State has 
been read to little purpose if we do not know that an accepted 
tradition sooner or later secures confirmation by authority. 
And so it has come to pass that the Supreme Court has decided 
that Jefferson and Madison and their eminent contemporaries 
were altogether wrong in supposing that the Louisiana pur- 
chase was without constitutional justification, for behold that 
elastic instrument can be stretched to sanction acquisition of 
territory by conquest as well as by purchase or treaty. Con- 
gress has been lifted above all courts and constitutions, and 
may deny to our dependencies even the right of trial by 

It goes without saying that the Supreme Court, being a 
human and fallible tribunal, is not uninfluenced by its con- 
gressional environment and by the returns of the elections. 
It was only the other day that Professor Nelson, the well- 
known publicist, made himself responsible for the following 
statement : " One of the justices of the United States Supreme 
Court has declared that he will determine questions of law 
with what he regards as the drift of public sentiment." And 
I think we may safely add that this accommodating magistrate 
would be likely to determine this compulsive " drift " accord- 
ing to the wishes of party leaders who happen to be in the 
ascendant. Let me not be misunderstood ; constitutions 
develop themselves and ought to do so. The framers of our 
Constitution recognized this and devised a way in which they 
thought it could be prudently done. We have chosen to 
develop our organic law by the familiar process by which 
statute law has been developed. We know that the courts 
extend and modify what was clearly the intention of the legis- 
lator, and that statute law is constantly growing by these 
decisions. But is it well to develop a carefully written con- 
stitution, which provides a means for its amendment, in the 
same way ? Evidently the answers to that question may show 
divergence of opinion. 

To go back to 1811. Whitney's saw-gin was invented in 
1793, and the slave States of America were recognized as the 


cotton fields of the world. Political decisions result from 
a medley of mixed motives ; and of some of the most active 
of these motives it is desirable that nothing be said. The 
art of the politician selects and proclaims that one among 
them which is most presentable. The concealed motive in 
the treaty with France was to forward the supremacy of the 
slave-holding power. The shrewd and capable leaders, whom 
the South has never lacked, saw that here was an opportunity 
to place their institution in an impregnable position. They 
realized that the indefinite continuance of slavery depended 
upon spreading their peculiar property, with its privilege of 
three-fifths representation, over as wide an area as possible. 
This they saw ; and Josiah Quincy, and the good and true 
men who stood behind him, saw it as clearly as they did. 

Whether the expansion of what we are proud to call Ameri- 
can institutions is desirable was not then the question. The 
question was whether the expansion of slavery was a function 
that the States had delegated to a passing Congress and a 
passing Executive. I have talked with Mr. Quincy about his 
position at this time and feel sure that I give it correctly. 
Whether the purchase of territory that included the Missis- 
sippi River was constitutional or not, he never doubted that 
the States would ratify and confirm it. He was satisfied that, 
had the appeal been made to them, the States might have 
admitted Louisiana even without the provision looking to 
the extinction of slavery, which had been applied to other 
territorial possessions. But they would have done this as 
a concession to an extraordinary situation never again likely 
to occur : the mouth of the Mississippi was an asset that could 
not be duplicated. It was the assumption, cunningly incor- 
porated in the treaty, that Congress might make the slave 
power predominant in the Union by multiplying States in 
foreign territories, that aroused his indignant opposition. 
There was the dead fly in the ointment of the apothecary which 
it needs no Scripture to assure us must soon become unpleas- 
antly evident. What has been absurdly called " the envenomed 
anti-expansion sentiment" of Mr. Quincy culminated in lan- 
guage frequently quoted in the histories and cyclopaedias. 
He advanced the opinion that with the unconstitutional admis- 
sion of the Louisiana " the bonds of this Union are virtually 
dissolved; that the States which compose it are free from their 


moral obligations ; and that as it will be the right of all, so it 
will be the duty of some, to prepare definitely for a separation 
— amicably if they can, violently if they must." He thus 
asserted the indefeasible right of resisting acts that were 
plainly unconstitutional; it was the right certainly indicated 
by Jefferson in the resolutions he drew for the Kentucky 
legislature as early as 1798. It was the right conceded by 
John Quincy Adams, provided it was exercised under the 
sanction of conscience and in the fear of God, It was a right 
implied even by the great "Defender of the Constitution," 
when he uttered the obvious truism, " A bargain cannot be 
broken on one side and still bind on the other." 

Massachusetts had accepted the Union as a compact between 
independent sovereign states. If there was any taint of 
treason in the situation, its stigma was upon those who by 
the usurpation of undelegated power had pushed the issue of 
the extension of slavery to the front. And at the front it 
remained, ever alert and aggressive, until the repeal of the 
Missouri Compromise and the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska 
bill aroused a political party to resist its encroachments. 

Whether secession from the Union was a reserved right of 
the States has been debated on each side by men equal in up- 
rightness and abilit}^. The question was decided at Appomat- 
tox Court-House, and there is no appeal. Those who lived 
through the Civil War know how odious the doctrine of this 
reserved right could be made to appear. And those who 
believe, as I do, that resistance to it was then laudable as 
favoring the moral progress of man, shudder to remember how 
near to success came the attempt to divide the Union in the 
interest of slavery. As we read the chapters of history that 
give the facts of that terrible struggle, they seem like chapters 
of accidents. While there is all the virtue in an "if" that 
Touchstone ascribed to it, there are possibilities in that familiar 
particle from which we shrink in dismay. 

If Prince Albert had died a few weeks earlier leaving un- 
modified the offensive terms in which Palmerston demanded 
satisfaction for the action of Captain Wilkes ! If the exigen- 
cies of politics had sent a man of less wisdom and discretion 
than Mr. Adams to represent us in England ! If a sudden 
hoarseness had prevented Henry Ward Beecher from going 
up and down that land and holding the working classes from 


following the lead of the aristocracy ! How easily these and a 
hundred other " ifs " might have confirmed the expectation 
of the South that European intervention would stop the war. 
But there is one "IF " that we may well write in capitals, for 
it dominates all the others. If there had been no great moral 
question involved, or if the moral issue had been the other 
way, the secession of those eleven States would have suc- 
ceeded — and ought to have succeeded. Suppose they could 
truly have asserted that their industrial interests had been 
paralyzed by a tariff of doubtful constitutionality — a tariff 
imposed with no view to revenue but to enrich certain favored 
classes in other States — -think you that men of intellect and 
conscience like Mill and Cairnes, John Bright and Labouchere, 
would have stood as a barrier to hold back the sordid interests 
that were anxious to crush us ? What we call " the rebellion " 
was unsuccessful because the moral sense of the nations (with 
which their selfish rulers had to reckon) had reached a degree 
of enlightenment capable of perceiving that even if slavery 
could still be tolerated the time had passed when it could be 
encouraged. This position, held in 1861 by the general con- 
sensus of mankind, had been reached by Josiah Quincy and 
his friends in 1811, just fifty years before. 

President Jefferson has been extolled for his supposed fore- 
sight in getting possession of the West; I submit that there 
was also foresight in the men who perceived the disaster that 
must come from an unconstitutional concession to the slave 
power — though I cannot claim that their imaginations were 
powerful enough to picture the horror of the consequences 
that subsequent history reveals. 

I have implied that to obtain in clarified essence the lessons 
of the past it is not enough to divest ourselves of passion, of 
prejudice, of partisanship ; we must also stifle the uplifting 
emotion of patriotism. The French historians are fond of con- 
sidering what course history would have taken if something 
that unexpectedly happened had not stopped the way. And 
though I cannot for a moment admit the preposterous suppo- 
sition that but for the treaty with France we should have lost 
the West, it may be permitted for a moment to enter the fairy- 
land of conjecture and assume that the fear of the time was 
realized and that England had gained possession of it. We 
know that the mother country was eager to plant herself upon 


this territory of uncertain limits. Napoleon's motive for sell- 
ing was that the British fleet in the Gulf of Mexico stood ready 
to pounce upon it the moment war with France was declared. 
The London press was clamorous for its acquisition. Even 
up to the time of the battle of New Orleans, England had not 
relinquished her desires in this direction. If the treaty of 
peace had not been signed and the battle had gone the other 
way, Sir Edward Pakenham was provided with men of expe- 
rience in civil affairs competent to govern the lands he hoped 
to acquire. Militant patriotism cannot contemplate the pos- 
sibility of such a catastrophe without a shudder. But can the 
unbiassed student of history be so easily persuaded that a 
disaster to humanity would have come of it ? Such an in- 
quirer might remember that in 1832 the British Parliament 
voted a hundred millions of dollars to get rid of slavery in 
Jamaica, and that this was followed by its abolition through- 
out the British dominions. Knowing that the presidents of 
our universities are sober men not given to exaggeration of 
speech, he might recall the words addressed by one of them 
to the graduates of the present year. These young men were 
reminded that they were citizens of a country " strangely 
lenient toward political venality and civic corruption. We 
have seen great cities held in the grasp of self-appointed bosses 
and rural regions bought and sold in unblushing defiance of 
law," Possibly one might call to mind the language of that 
sterling American citizen, Dorman B. Eaton, who after due 
examination was forced to acknowledge that " England has 
brought about changes which have elevated the moral tone of 
her official life . . . while this great work has been going on 
in the mother country, we have fallen away from the better 
methods of our earlier history." The inquiry might be raised 
whether the average of human well-being in the British com- 
monwealths, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, was decidedly 
less than with us. Some of these great States have attacked 
economic problems before which we stand dazed and helpless ; 
from them we have borrowed two of the best of our recent 
acquisitions, the Australian ballot and the system of land 
registration. While England and her dependencies are far 
enough from being the ideal states that we hope for in the 
future, can it be asserted that their progress in that direction 
has been far less than our own ? 



The last legislature of Massachusetts increased the burden 
of her debt-laden people by contributing one hundred thousand 
dollars to the splendor of the celebration at St. Louis. Let us 
not forget that this same Massachusetts once declared by its 
legislature that Jefferson's treaty with France transcended the 
constitutional power with which Congress had been entrusted, 
and reaffirmed this belief as late as 1845 by declaring that 
" the project of the annexation of Texas unless arrested on the 
threshold, may drive these States into a dissolution of the 
Union." Robert C. Winthrop, her representative in Congress 
and for so many years the honored President of this Society, 
expressed the feeling of his constituents in these words : " I 
deny the right of this government to annex a foreign state by 
any process-short of an appeal to the people in the form which 
the Constitution prescribes for its amendment. " 

I do not object to the appropriation for the St. Louis fes- 
tival. It is pleasant to be captured by the spectacular, and 
perhaps there is too little of it in our common American life. 
Only a few fragments of history stick in the general memory, 
and it is easy to fashion these to any shape that may be thrust 
into the foreground of consciousness. It is easy to forget that 
organic law is the basis not only of order but of moral prog- 
ress, and that after one compromise with principle there is no 
foothold in the descent. For the evil of such a compromise 
gradually increases until it becomes incorporated with our 
lives ; and then we accept it as we accept the natural forces of 
the Cosmos by which we exist or cease to be. It is true, as 
Hamlet says, that " our indiscretion sometimes serves us 
well " ; but it will always serve us ill if, dazzled by the splen- 
dor of its supposed consequences, we forget that it ivas indis- 
cretion and call it by some better name. 

There is good cause for much of the exultant patriotism that 
will be in evidence at the St. Louis Exhibition. Despite past 
errors and some present discouragements, the outlook towards 
the future justifies an invigorating hopefulness. The natural 
laws of economics are realized as never before, and civic duty 
was never put so near to the front of human obligations. Let 
the orators magnify those responsible for the Louisiana pur- 
chase, if this the occasion demands. But if they follow a not 
unusual procedure and stigmatize as " envenomed anti-expan- 
sionists," and credit witli " a narrow parochialism," the Massa- 


chusetts men who opposed the unconstitutional creation of 
new slave States, I believe that competent students of history 
will respond with the Scotch verdict, u Not Proven." 

Remarks were also made during the meeting by the Presi- 
dent, and Messrs. Solomon Lincoln, Edward E. Hale, 
and Franklin B. Sanborn. 



The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 10th in- 
stant, at three o'clock, P. M. ; the President in the chair. 

The record of the last meeting was read and approved ; and 
the usual monthly reports were presented. 

Attention was called to the nomination for Honorary Mem- 
bership to be acted on at the January meeting, and an infor- 
mal discussion took place in which the President and Messrs. 
Charles Eliot Norton, Edward H. Hall, Franklin 
B. Sanborn, William R. Thayer, Ephraim Emerton, 
Archibald Gary Coolidge, Henry W. Haynes, and 
William W, Goodwin participated. 

The President made some remarks on the decaying condi- 
tion of the old frigate "Constitution," and it was voted to 
authorize the Council to petition Congress to take such action 
as may be necessary to prevent her entire destruction. 

He briefly announced the death of the Hon. Henry S. 
Nourse since the last meeting, and said : — 

At the last meeting of the Society it became incumbent 
upon me to announce the striking of four names from our rolls 
of membership, — one from the Resident, one from the Cor- 
responding, and two from the Honorary list. 

Since the last meeting, — and following it by only two 
days, — on November 14, Henry Stedman Nourse, one of our 
Resident Members, died at his home in South Lancaster. So 
sudden and wholly unexpected was his death that, immediately 
before, he had been occupied with the reading and correction 
of proof sheets of the memoir of our former associate, John 
D. Washburn, which finds a place in one of the serials now on 
the table before me. Mr. Nourse was elected a member of the 
Society at the stated meeting November 14, 1889,-— the meet- 
ing at which the President announced the death of Charles 


Deane, than which the Society has never in my judgment 
sustained a greater loss. I regret to say that, owing to pres- 
sure of other engagements, — from sheer forgetfulness until 
too late, — I failed to arrange for the usual characterization of 
Mr. Nourse this afternoon. I will now, in announcing his 
death, merely say that Mr. Nourse had been a member of the 
Society exactly fourteen years. During those years he was 
one of our constant attendants. He also did his share of 
work. In March, 1893, he served on the Committee to ex- 
amine the Cabinet ; and, in 1900, on the Committee to 
examine the Library. Though he rarely took an active part 
in our meetings, there was, nevertheless, one exception to 
the rule which all who were then present will recall. Some 
of those here will remember the very interesting as well as 
instructive paper on the burning of Columbia, South Carolina, 
after its occupation by the army of General Sherman, in Feb- 
ruary, 1865, read by our associate Mr. Rhodes at our Novem- 
ber meeting two years ago. Those of us who were present 
will not have forgotten that the paper was listened to very 
intently, and it was followed by an incident almost dramatic. 
Mr. Nourse rose immediately after Mr. Rhodes had closed, and 
quietly said he supposed it not improbable that he was the one 
person present who had also been a witness of the events Mr. 
Rhodes had so graphically described. He then went on to 
throw upon the narrative the light of his personal recollection ; 
and what he said was very effective. It was calm, matter-of- 
fact, and simple to a degree, but wonderfully graphic. Al- 
ways, and especially then, there was something about the 
aspect and bearing of Mr. Nourse singularly attractive and 
sympathetic, — a refinement in his face, a quietude in his 
manner, a gentleness of bearing and aspect, which could not 
fail to impress whoever came in contact with him. Thus to 
me, and I think not to me alone, his mere presence in this 
room was an inspiration. It is pleasant to reflect that his last 
act was the preparation of a memoir of a member of this 

Mr. Samuel S. Shaw was appointed to write the memoir of 
Mr. Nourse for publication in the Proceedings. 

It was stated that a part of the bequest of the late Hon. 
Mellen Chamberlain had been paid into the treasury since the 


last meeting, and Messrs. Charles C. Smith and Henry W, 
Haynes with the President were appointed a Committee to 
publish the " History of Chelsea," the manuscript of which 
had been given to the Society by Judge Chamberlain. 

Rt. Rev. William Lawrence, D.D., presented the me- 
moir of the Hon. Roger Wolcott, which he had been appointed 
to prepare for publication in the Proceedings. 

Dr. William Everett called attention to the new instalment 
of Sir George Trevelyan's " History of the American Revolu- 
tion," in two volumes, which he had presented to the Society. 
He regarded these as fully sustaining the promise of the first 
part. Sir George, though not neutral, for his sympathies, like 
those of the Whigs of 1776, are entirely with the Americans, 
is conspicuously impartial in the fair manner in which he deals 
with all prominent actors on both sides. It is to be feared that, 
like his uncle, Lord Macaulay, his fulness of detail — these 
two volumes occupy less than one year — will hinder a speedy 
completion of the work. 

Dr. Everett also presented a memoir of his father, the late 
Edward Everett, LL.D. The first part is autobiographic, 
being in two portions of unequal length ; these were found 
among Mr. Everett's papers, and are in the form of letters to 
a friend, though no person's name is used. The latter portion 
of the memoir is supplied by Dr. Everett. He related, in 
illustration of the President's exposition of fictions that pass 
for history, how it had often been asserted that his father hav- 
ing spoken in the National House of Representatives in 1826 
had been denounced on the spot by John Randolph : as. the 
latter was at that time a member of the United States Senate, 
the fiction is obvious. 

Mr. Gamaliel Bradford spoke extemporaneously on 
political conditions in the United States, and read some 
extracts from Ostrogorski's " Democracy and the Organi- 
zation of Political Parties," which he characterized as a 
work of remarkable ability, and as showing a keen insight 
into the working of political institutions on this side of the 

Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis communicated from 
the Winthrop Papers a copy of a tract on the Bank of Credit 
of 1687, and spoke in substance as follows: — 


The Prospectus of BlachwelVs Bank, 1687. 

The " Fund at Boston in New England," an experimental 
attempt to supplement by Bank Credit the needs of the com- 
munity in the way of a circulating medium, was organized in 
the fall of 1681. The project was so purely empirical that 
the founders made no appeal to the public until the spring of 
1682, when, after a six months' test of the scheme, a pamphlet, 
eight pages in length, entitled " Severals Relating to the 
Fund," 1 was printed. This, upon careful inspection, will be 
found to be merely a prospectus of the bank. It is true that 
there are references to succeeding pages and to matter in- 
tended to be placed therein, which at first glance would seem 
to indicate that these eight pages were but a portion of a 
larger publication, but statements made in the pamphlet itself 
justify the conclusion that while " Severals Relating to the 
Fund" was being run through the press, the project of its 
■publication was altered, that certain matter was cut out, that 
other matter was introduced, and by this means the scheme of 
the Fund was brought within the eight pages then printed, 
leaving for future publication, in the form at first proposed, the 
matter originally prepared by the author. It may be doubted 
whether the fuller publication was ever made. 

The scheme of the Fund had already been submitted to the 
Council. Failing to secure the approval of that body, the 
projectors of the movement began their operations in the fall 
of 1681, and issued this prospectus in the following spring. 
Subsequent events would indicate that there was enough of 
success in this proceeding to secure converts in the commu- 
nity with sufficient influence to bring about the approval by 
the Council of a similar scheme. 

The new plan 2 was more ostentatious in character, and its 
purposes were more clearly defined, the proposed emissions 
being therein described as " Bank-Bills of Credit, signed by 
several persons of good repute joined together in a partner- 
ship." The title " Bank-bills of Credit," and the appeal for 

1 Reprinted in "Tracts relating to the Currency of the Massachusetts Bay," 
1682-1720, pp. 1-11. 

2 An abstract of what was known of this bank at the time when " Currency 
and Banking in Massachusetts Bay " was written is given in vol. ii., " Banking," 
pp. 76 et seq. 


confidence on the ground of the high standing of the signers 
of the bill indicate a clearer conception of the possibilities in 
the way of a paper substitute for the coined money which 
then constituted the only circulating medium, than can be 
inferred from the " Change bills" described in " Severals Re- 
lating to the Fund." 

If we trace the progress of the Fund, as the story is nar- 
rated in the pages of " Severals," etc., we see that when, in 
September, 1681, the experiment was begun, it was approved 
by some, but met with disfavor on the part of others. On the 
whole, it was so far successful that at the end of six months it 
was thought, on the part of the promoters, " not fit to be longer 
silent," but to hasten " An Account of the Design." 1 The 
account thus hastened was " Severals Relating to the Fund." 

In a similar way, on the 26th of February, 1714, the pro- 
jectors of the bank which it was then sought to establish, 
issued as a prospectus a pamphlet entitled " A Model For 
Erecting A Bank of Credit," etc., said to have been printed in 
London in the year 1688, and reprinted in Boston in 1714. 2 
This was followed, in October of the same year, by the publi- 
cation of a pamphlet entitled " A Projection for Erecting a 
Bank of Credit in Boston, New England, Founded on Land 
Security," 3 thus appealing to the public for support through 
the Scheme of the Bank. 

It does not follow that the intermediate projection, Black- 
well's Bank, was inaugurated by similar means, but it is per- 
haps a fair inference that such was the case. Even though 
we are dependent for our information concerning this Bank 
exclusively upon manuscript sources, we feel as if some time 
or other some printed account of it ought to turn up. 

We know that Black well wrote u out the abstracts of the 
book intended to be printed," 4 and claimed compensation 
from the Bank for the service. It is true that this claim was 
made after the project was abandoned; hence the inference 
may be drawn that if the book had actually gone to press, 
Blackwell would have referred to the publication as a " Book 
which was printed " rather than as one which was " intended 

1 Tracts relating to the Currency, etc., 1682-1720, p. 9. 

2 Ibid., pp. 36-67 
s Ibid, pp. 70-84. 

4 From a letter of Blackwell's quoted in " Currency and Banking," etc., vol. ii., 
" Banking," p. 80. 


to be printed." The argument that the use of language ex- 
pressing mere intention would preclude the idea that there had 
been any fulfilment of that intention would be much stronger, 
however, if applied to current affairs than it actually is in its 
application to events which occurred in the seventeenth cen- 
tury. An instance of the manner in which these words were 
formerly used is to be found in the proprietary records of 
Cambridge, where the two and two-thirds acres granted to 
the school or college are referred to in the boundaries of ad- 
joining lots, for many years after the actual grant, as " land 
intended for the college." The conveyancer used the term 
as a means of identification of the land, and was indifferent 
to criticism on other points if it served that purpose. The 
descriptive use by Blackwell of the same phrase was for the 
same purpose ; hence, if we should come across any special 
publication treating of this Bank, we should not be debarred 
from the conjecture that it was from the hands of Blackwell. 

Unfortunately no such printed matter is at hand, and no 
printed reference to this Bank has been found, unless the state- 
ment made in a pamphlet printed in 1714 entitled " A Letter 
from one in Boston to his Friend in the Country," etc., that 
" Our Fathers about Twenty-eight Years Ago, Entered into a 
Partnership to Circulate their Notes founded on Land Secur- 
ity," x etc., shall be held to be such a reference. That the 
writer had Blackwell's Bank in view is probable, but it is also 
probable that he confounded it with "The Fund," since his 
evident intention was to convey the impression that the Notes 
were actually being circulated. 

The conjecture that the manuscript prepared by Blackwell 
did find its way into print is strengthened by the discover}^, 
among the Winthrop Papers in the custody of this Society, of 
a manuscript copy of a prospectus of the Bank which bears 
upon the titlepage the words " Published by the Proposers 
Anno 1687." 

The fragments of the Constitution and the Rules of the 
Bank to be found in the Archives serve to identify the model 
upon which it was founded with that which is set forth in the 
pamphlet entitled u A Model for Erecting a Bank of Credit," 
reprinted in Boston in 1714. It is natural, therefore, to turn 
at once to this pamphlet and to institute a comparison be- 

1 Tracts relating to the Currency, etc., 1682-1720, p. 134. 


tween the scheme set forth therein and that which is sug- 
gested in the prospectus said to have been published in 1687. 
Such a comparison reveals the fact that while there is matter 
in each not to be found in the other, the greater part of the 
contents of both are substantially identical. The two differ 
widely in the arrangement of the material, but they are plainly 
derived from a common origin. 

I have elsewhere called attention to the fact that Hutchin- 
son alluded in his History to a pamphlet of the same char- 
acter as the " Model," etc., of 1688, as having been issued in 
1684, and I then said, referring at the time only to the frag- 
ments of the Constitution and Rules of the Bank in the Ar- 
chives, that there was indisputable evidence that the Model 
for a Bank suggested in the pamphlet of 1688 was in Black- 
well's hands in 1686. 1 

The copy of the prospectus, being much more complete 
than the fragments in the Archives, furnishes a new and bet- 
ter opportunity for testing the truth of this assertion. The 
substantial identity of the two schemes will be accepted by 
any person who will make this comparison. 

The prospectus is of sufficient interest in connection with 
the subject of Banking in Massachusetts in the eighteenth 
century to justify its publication, notwithstanding the fact 
that most of the contents have already been given us in the 
reprint of 1711. It is as follows : — 

A Discourse in Explanation of the Bank of Credit | Or | 

An Account of the Model Rules & Benefits of | The Bank of Credit, 
Lumbard, | and Exchange of Moneys Proposed to | be Erected 
in Boston And managed | by persons in Partnership, as other | 
Merchantly Aifayres. | Published by the Proposers. | Anno | 


Briefe considerations tending Demonstratively to evince the Neces- 
sity, Security, usefulnes & Advantage of The Bank of Credit Lumbard 
& Exchange of Moneys Proposed to be Erected at Boston in New- 
England. And, That, Bank-bills of Credit will not only answer the 
Ends of Gold and Silver moneys, but are Preferrable to both. Also, 
some Rules & Instructions to be attended by all such as shall desire 
the Assistance of this Bank &c Touching the way and manner of their 
proceedings, in order to their Receiving the Benefits thereby held forth, 


1 Currency and Banking, etc., vol. ii., " Banking," p. 75. 


Some things Premised for Introduction 
touching Banks in Generall viz 1 

Money, whether Gold or Silver, is but a measure of the value of 
other things : yet hath, for a long Succession of Ages (especially in the 
civillized & trading part of the world) obteyned to be the usuall & best 
known means of Inter-change. 

This Measure & way of interchange was originally occasion'd by 
the experimented inconveniencies of Comon Barter by Comodities : 
In which way, unlesse both the parties dealing had like occasion 
reciprocally of each other's, the lesse necessitous over-reached the 
greater, by imposing y e Price of both : to his owne Advantage, and 
the others detriment, which was not equall. 

The Inconveniencies of the way of Barter might have been much 
obviated, By a frequent setting a just & equall value of the Price of 
all coniodities, by publique authority, according as the plenty or scarceity 
of them should require, and the market had ruled : But, there being 
no such comon standard, Money hath obteyned & been admitted as 
the best ballance of Trade, both by wise & un-wise. But, whether 
the Mynes faile, or men have not been so foreseing and industrious 
to bring into most countreys a sufficiency wherewith to manage their 
increasing trades ; Or, That Traders, for want of other returnes, have 
been necessitated, for Ballance of the Surcharge of goods Imported, 
To Remit the Coynes of some Countreys into others ; Or, For other 
unknown causes, 'tis now so hard to come by, for the carrying on 
of trade, to answer the vastness of men's attempts & aymes of increase 
in Merchandize, as that it 's suspected to be insufficient in this age of 
the world : And that hath put divers persons & countreys upon con- 
trivances, how to supply that deficiencie, by other Mediums: Some 
of which, have happily pitch'd upon That, of Banks, Lumbards & 
Exchange of Moneys by Bills : which have thriven with them. 

The Two Former of these, viz 1 , Banks and Lumbards have been 
sett on foot in divers Countreys, by their respective publique under- 
takings, and have succeded to their abundant inriching. Perhaps 
others have thought, That would have occasioned the over-flowing of 
moneys amongst them : But, as the later have been mistaken, Or, 
their Surfeit of Trade hath obscured the visibility of it, and protracted 
the considerations of Redressing, till it hath proved allmost Fatall, even 
to the giving a Sett, or declension to their Aspyrings therin ; So, the 
Former have really experimented, that their Banks have been, as well 
amongst themselves, as with other Countreys, of greater value than the 
Species of Gold and Silver : and yet such places dreyne away the said 
species from the other that Court it, as the only reall good thing for 
a Countrey. 

The Third, viz*. That of Exchange of Moneys, hath been for the 


most part managed by the respective merchants of the same and other 
Countreys : who, in their particular dealings and correspondencies, have 
un-accountably controll'd it, to their great advantage also; and vary it 
often, in each Annuall Revolution. 

'T is not doubted but that all Three of these might be improved and 
accomodated to the publique advantage of any countrey, and of this 
in perticular [Commuting only the Fund of the First from (but) an 
Imaginary being or presence of the species of Gold and Silver moneys 
lodged in such Banks, (which this place hath not in such plenty as to 
deposit for such a purpose) into Reall and Substantiall Lands & goods 
of un-questionable title and value (which this Countrey hath) and 
thence, more aptly Terming the Bank (which in other places is, in 
Repute, A Bank of Moneys) [A Bank of Credit] and the Bills issued 
on these Funds [Bank Bills of Credit] especially if such an affaire 
be managed in Partnership, by private hands, persons of knowne 
integrity, prudence and estates : all which will become thereby lyable 
to answer the injury, damage or Losse to any, by their undertaking. 
And, It seemes most necessary that some thing of this nature be sett 
on foot, for the present supply of the great scarceity of money here, 
for carrying on the Ordinary comerce amongst Traders; who, unlesse 
speedily releived by this medium, will, in all probability, be suddainly 
exposed to breaking and utter Ruine. But, 

At present, we shall begin With, & principally discourse of the two 
first of these, viz* The Bank of Credit, as it may be rendred Susceptible 
of the second, viz 1 , The Lumbard conjunct: Accounting the One to 
be founded on Lands or Reall estates mortgaged ; and the other on 
staple goods or personall estates Deposited : Such as any Countreys 
Products and Manufactures will by Art and Industry produce and 

Here might be also discoursed A Lumbard for y e Poore (by some 
called Mons pietatis) But That 's fitter to be the handmayd of the 
other. For, 'twill be too poore to incourage an undertaking by it 
selfe. Neither is there the same necessity therof as of the other in 
this Countrey at present. The paucity of the poore occasioning the 
use & imployment of all the hands we have, and calling for more, such 
are thereby provided for, who will betake themselves to industry, at 
such moderate wages as would enable them to live comfortably without 
exposing their imployers to like poverty with themselves. Besides, 
the other, viz 1 The Bank of Credit & Lumbard, when understood, and 
received by Generall approbation, will render this, as also that of the 
Exchange of moneys, the more intelligible, & in due time as usefull. 

These things Premised by way of Introduction, we shall now proceed 
to that which more imediately relates to the Present Bank proposed to 
be Erected in this Countrey : which we define thus, viz*. 


A considerable number of persons, some of each Trade, calling & 
condition (especially in the principall places of trading in this Countrey) 
agree voluntarily to Receive as ready moneys, of and from each other 
and any Psons in their ordinary dealings, Bank-bills of Credit, signed 
by severall persons of good Repute joyned together in a Partnership ; 
Given forth on Lands of good title mortgaged ; and staple un-perishable 
goods & merchandizes Deposited in fitting places to be appoynted by 
them for that purpose, To the value of about One halfe or Two thirds 
of such respective Mortgages & Deposits at the Rate of Fower pounds 
P cent P annum : which said Bills, in a kinde of Circulation, through 
their experimented usefullnes, become diffused by mutuall consent, 
passe from One hand to another, and so have (at least) equall advan- 
tages with the Current moneys of the Countrey attending them, to all 
who become satisfied to be of this Society or agreement, & that shall 
deale with them. 

For Instance. 

A countrey Chapman hath Lauds (suppose) worth to be sold for 
400 L : and being willing to inlarge his trade and dealings, as farr as 
his Estate will enable him, Or, having bought goods, for which he is 
indebted, and cannot otherwise pay for, He mortgages his Laud in Bank 
for 200 L , more or lesse ; aud therupon receiveth severall Bank Bills 
of Credit for 200 L , &c, of severall values from 20 s and so upwards, to 
answer his occasions. 

With these Bills he buj^es such goods as he pleases, or payes his 
debts for what he formerly bought of the wholesale shopkeeper, or 
Warehousekeeper in Boston, or other Towne or Townes of Trade that 
shall fall into this way of dealing : and having Bank bills to deliver for 
them (which are of better value by 40 s in the 100 L than moneys, with 
this Society, as is hereinafter evinced) he buyes much cheaper than he 
could upon his owne Credit, or with money in specie. 

The Shop keeper goes to the merchant, who thus agrees, and buyes 
of him other goods, with the same or like Bills, wherin he reaps the 
same advantage as he gave his chapman. 

The Merchant buyes Bullocks, Hogs, Fish, Hops, Lumber, Pitch, 
Tarr, Rozin ; Or any other of the Countreys Products or manufactures, 
of the Husbandman, Artificer, or maker of such manufactures. 

The Husbandman, if a Farmer of Lands, Pays his Rent, and pur- 
chases more young Cattell of his neighbor, for Breed or Fatting. Or, 

If an Owner of Land, and hath not sufficient stock to improve it, he 
also mortgages his Land, & has Credit to furnish himselfe. Or, 

If he hath stock sufficient, and perhaps more than his present 
Farme can mantayne, He hath his eye upon a neighboring Farme that 
would be sold : He mortgages his owne Land in the Bank, and hath 
Credit to buye the other. 


If then lie want stock, He may also mortgage the Farme last pur- 
chased, and have Credit to enable him fully to improve & stock both : 
whereby he doubles his yearly advantages : and, if he can then content 
himselfe to live as frugally, and be as industrious as before, he may 
soone compasse to pay off his Debt, and Redeem his Land. Or, 

He may continue the Credit he had, or take out more upon the 
Additionall improvement: and thus increase his purchases and estate 
as long as such an help is afforded. 

Another Instance. 

The Like may be don for carrying on the Opening and working in 
any Mynes, Myneralls, or Quarreys of stone, Lead, Tynn, Iron, Copper 
&c. Thus, viz'. 

The Myne & Lands wherin the same is may be mortgaged, as afore- 
sayd, to supply the Owner therof with Credit, for paying his workmen, 
in any sum of 20? or above. 

As fast as any of these metalls &c are wrought, fitt for sale if a 
Chapman be wanting, the metall may be brought into the Bank, and the 
Owner Receive Bank bills to the value of about two thirds therof, as 
aforesaid, to enable him to proceed on his works : and the metall lying 
in Bank is there readyer for a market than else where in his owne pri- 
vate house or warehouse, at very reasonable Rates for lying there : and 
may, with allowance of the Owner, be sold at such current Rates as 
he shall sett : and he become Creditor for so much to be discompted, or 
payd him, whensoever he shall call for it. 

A Third Instance. 

A Weaver of Cloth, Searge, or Linnen &c is imployed in any work 
house erected or to be erected, to carry on those respective manufac- 
tures : Also other Manufacturers and Artificers in Ropemaking, Cables, 
Rigging, Sayles, Ancours or any other, for the fishing trade, Merchants, 
or building of ships. 

The Owner of such Work-house or materialls respectively consents 
to mortgage the same for 200 L in Bank-bills, more or lesse, as the 
work shall require, and the value of the house, or materialls will admitt. 

With these Bills The Workmaster or Overseer buyes wool], worsted, 
yarne, dying stufFes, hemp, Flax, Iron, Timber, Lumber &c of the 
merchant, warehousekeeper or other seller : and finishes forty, sixty or 
a hundred peeces, &c, more or lesse, of any the said Comodities, which, 
when wrought up for a market, if he want a Chapman he brings into 
the Bank warehouses, as aforesaid, or such yards, Docks or other places 
as they shall appoynt: takes up new Credit upon them, & leaves them 
there to be sold at his owne Rates, as aforesayd. Or, 


A considerable parcell of Wooll, Cotton, Flax, hemp, Oyle dying 
stuffes, or other goods for his use, are offer'd for sale : He may pay One 
third therof by his wrought-up goods unsold, and, bringing these into 
the Bank, may receive Credit for paying the other two thirds, which 
he may take out in parcells, as he brings in any New-wrought-up 
goods : Or hath occasion to use them for making up more. And the 
Bank-storehouses will be to him, and all other Manufacturers, as 
Black well hall in London to the Clothyers, To assist his sale of them 
with out his trouble ; for, Thither will all merchants have incourage- 
ments to come, to seek supplyes for transportation, and finde goods 
allwayes ready. 

Other Instances might be multiplyed. But, By these it appeares, 

1. The Manufacturer &c ljses no time in looking out a Chapman. 

2. Is allways furnish'd with Credit to buy his materialls at y e best 

3. The Merchant never Trusts, nor Warehouse-keeper. Or if he do, 
the plenty of Bills expedits his Chapmans sales, and consequently his 
payments. Whereby, 

4. He has incouragement & stock presently to look out for more, of 
the same or other usefull merchandizes. 

5. Sends forth the said Metalls, Clothes, stuffes Lynnen &c, amongst 
other merchandizes of the Product of this Countrey, or Imported. 

6. Makes Returne of Bullion, moneys or other usefull goods, which 
are presently bought off with Bank bills. Or, 

7. He may store them up in Bank-warehouses, and Receive present 
Credit wherewith to send out againe. And, 

8 Thereby be inabled (at least) to double or trebble his yearly deal- 
ings, & receive proportionable advantages. This, 
1. Increases & quickens Merchandizing and Trade. 
2 Promotes shipping and Navigation. Which, 
3. Increases the Kings duties, & consequently his Revenues. 

4 Imployes the poore in the mynings & manufactures aforemen- 

5 Also, In that of Cordage, Sayles, Cables, Ancours &c for the 
fishing trade and navigation. 

6. They get money by these imployments. 

7 That enables them to buy up all necessaries for Clothing, vic- 
tual Is, paying debts, &c 

8 This helps the consumption of, as well our own manufactures, as 
other imported goods and merchandizes ; For, no man that hath 
wherewith to buy, will go naked, or be hungry &c. 

9 This helps to civillize the Ruder Sort of people, & incourages 
others to follow their example in industry & civillity. 


10 Thus, All sorts of persons become inabled to live handsomly, 
and out of Debt: and that prevents multiplicity of Lawsuites, charges, 
and troubles to the Government. But, 

None of these Advantages may be expected out of the small pittance 
of Cash, that now is, ever was, or likely will be in this countrey, unlesse 
assisted in trade & inriched by the help this Bank proposes. But, 

Obj. 1. Some perhaps will object, or say, 

What do you tell me of Bank-bills & Credit? Unlesse you have 
moneys allwayes ready to give me in Exchange for Bank-bills when I 
ask it ; I '1 never deale with the Bank ; I understand Money : and what 
use & advantage is to be made of that. Will you not be bound to give 
me ready money for the Bank-bills I have, when I have occasion for 
Money ? 

Ans. 1. This Bank is not Proposed to be a Bank of moneys (w ch is 
liable to un-expressible & unforeseen hazards) but A Bank of Credit, 
to be given forth by Bills, to supply such as cannot get money (by 
reason of it's scarceity) with what so ever may be had for moneys. 

2 If it be made appeare to you, that others who have money, will 
be willing to change your Bank-bills into those species of Gold & Sil- 
ver, & thank you for offering them the occasion, (though the Bank do 
it not) you '1 have no cause so hastily to resolve against dealing with 
the Bank, &c. Especially if you mxy both be gayners by the 
Exchange. But, 

3 If I ought you 500 L to be payd in Silver, & should propose to 
pay you in Gold, at the intriusique coynVl value, which, if you part with 
againe, will yeild you five pounds profit, or more, would you then 
Refuse Gold? Quis nisi mentis inops, &c. sayes a Poet. 

Obj. 2. How will you apply this to make it Credible ? Thus, 

Ans. Who ever hath any Payment to make in Bank (which, in all 
probability if the Bank take effect will be every man that deales in 
above 20 L at a time) will finde, That he must pay 40 s more in every 
hundred pounds of ready moneys, than in Bank bills of Credit : which 
is about 5 pence benefit to the Exchanger in every 20 s . 

Obj. 3. Then surely I may returne the Poets wonder upon the 

Ans. Not at all. For they will not refuse money : But, Bank bills 
and Credit are so respectively adapted to answer the Two severall 
species of Gold and Silver moneys, as that, More than Gold is valued, 
by many men, above Silver, Proportionably will Bank bills be 
preferrable to either of them. For, 

Q. Why is Gold Preferrable to Silver, so as that a person should 
give l d or 2 d in the pound exchange between them? 

A. 1. For ease of Compting & carriage. 


2 For Safety in travelling or hoarding up. 

3 For the Advantage that some make by the exchange betwixt 
them : which lyes on the side of the Gold, but rarely is above 20 s in 
the hundred pounds. 

Bank bills Farr exceed both, on all those Accounts. For, 

(1) The only reading over of a Bank bill ascertaynes the sum or 
value conteyned in it: and, If many Bills be ofFer'd in payment of a 
considerable sum, Few persons that have occasion for many, but can 
easily adde or compt even sums, none conteyning lesse than 20 s . 

(2) If a person be Rob'd of his Gold or Silver, whether it be upon 
the Road travelling ; Or by thievs breaking open his house by day or 
night, when he is abroad or asleep : Or by Servants proving unfayth- 
full ; Though he may possibly meet with the persons, eailyer or later, 
that took his money away ; they may have spent it, or a considerable 
part of it ; That 's lost irrecoverably : and it will be hard for the Loser 
to prove what he findes, to be his owne money: But if a mischance 
befall him in his Bills by any of those meanes, Or, by accidents of fire, 
water, wearing out, &c; He may have them renewed ; if he forthwith 
apply to the Bank-house, and make a voluntary Oath therof, express- 
ing the number, value & date of each Bill lost, &c ; and will secure the 
Bank against all after-demands for the same Bills. By which meanes 
(most probably) the thiefe will be discover'd : for, the Bank will pres- 
ently make publication therof, in such manner, as, if other persons, to 
whose hands they shall come, comply not voluntarily with the wrong- 
doer, to their owne prejudice, he will be soone detected and brought to 
condigne punishment. Aud, there can be no counterfeit of any bill 
given out, but the Bank can make out the truth of every man's bill, by 
it's counterpart remayning in their hands : So the difficulty of escape 
will deterre from the attempt. 

(3) The Third perticular is proved in the answer to the second ob- 
jection, viz* Bank bills will passe in the Bank at 40 s more than 
money in 100 L . Wheras Gold is very rarely above 20 s more than Sil- 
ver. But, Besides, Money may not be transported without hazards; 
Partly by the penalties on the Transporter, by Law : Partly by Shipp- 
wrack, Piracy, &c. Bank-bills (with advices) may assist exchanges 
into England, & all other parts, when once this Bank shall have gotten 
into Reputation, allowing for the different intrinsique value of the sev- 
erall current moneys in each respective place : as 100 L Bank credit of 
Holland, will be accepted in England & bought up at 102 L , sometimes 
103 L of English Coyne. 

Obj. 4. If therfore upon the whole, any shall say, However, Give 
me money, Or I '1 not deale with you, I Love to Look on it sometimes: 
Gold is sayd to be good for the Eyes, &c. 

Ans. You may be assured, That if you shall choose rather to give 



8 L per centu P anna for money, than fower for Bank bills, That are 
40 s in the 100 L better; The Bank will be easily pers waded to settle 
some way wherin they may safely accomodate you with that eye-salve, 
and can bring in moneys to them, if there be any in the Countrey, when 
they shall see cause to value them equall with Bills : which (yet) they 
will never attempt to the prejudice of so many as will be of a different 
mind from you : But, you are rather to be suspected to have moneys 
than to want it; and would put it out at those Rates of Interest, as 
heretofore have been done, to the Ruine or impoverishing of many 
Landed persons ; for whose Releife this Bank is principally erected : 
who, finding the ease this Bank affords, will herafter know where to 
be accomodated, on better termes : and without danger of being worm'd 
out of their Lands & Estates: It being the Banks Interest to continue 
to give out their Credit, on the termes proposed, till men can Repay. 

Obj. 5. We know not the nature & constitution of this Bank : Nor 
what's requisit for us to do in order to our being made partakers of the 
benefits & advantages proposed to such as shall voluntarily comply 
therewith. Nor, Do we see clearly our Security in so doing, nor upon 
what termes. Pray informe us of these things, so farr as we may be 
safely guided into the way, & unto the end of it. Also, In case this 
Bank should terminate, How we shall be dealt with all in the closing up 
of accompts, so as may be without damage, either to y e Bank or to those 
that shall so deale with it ? We doubt not but you have as well con- 
sider'd the end as the Beginning. Though if it prove so usefull as is 
suggested, we can see no cause why a thing of so great advantage, in so 
many cases as have been instanced, should procure any persons ill will 
or wearinesse of it : And we are also satisfied, That au affiyre of this 
nature, wherin the persons & estates of so many shall be involved, as it 
seemes probable there will be, can not suddainly be knock'd off, but. 
with inconvenience. 

Ans. We shall indeavor to give you satisfaction in each perticular, 
in the order layd down by you, as neare as may be. And, 
First, As touching the Constitution of this Bank : 
Take it thus. 

1. There are 21 persons of good and Generall Reputation for in- 
tegrity prudence & estates, To whom the Trust and care of the manage- 
ment therof is proposed to be Committed, wherof Seaven of them viz\ 
A. B. C. D. E. F. G. are conceved sufficient to appeare at the first 
entrance therupon ; and untill by the coming on of busines it shall be 
judged necessary to settle the full or some greater number of them. 
These are all ingaged by Articles of Agreement & Covenants in Part- 
nership to attend theron and be responsible for their doings, and These 
will sitt in some certayne place in Boston, to be herafter agreed upon, 


from day to day, as the businesse & occasions of the Bank shall require, 
to Receive all Proposalls from any persons touching their having such 
Credit therout as they shall desire upon their Estates of Lands houses 
or staple un-perishing goods or merchandizes, to such value as they 
shall judge the security proposed of either kinde will admitt : and for 
drawing up & perfecting such Bank-bills, mortgages, Bills of Sale and 
Defezances therof, as Lands or goods respectively shall require, which 
said Respective mortgages and Goods, when perfected & brought in 
shall be layd up and stored respectively in as safe and convenient 
Roomes and Warehouses, &c, as shall be without exception, To pre- 
vent damage of wether, Robbery, Fire, water, or vermin of any kinde, 
whereby they may be impaired: And all under the Trust and custody 
of such number of the sayd Managers as no opportunity can be taken 
to impayre or lessen the security, unlesse all the partners should agree 
therin ; which can not reasonably be imagined by any body that knowes 
them. Besides, There will be continuall watching on all such places, 
and it will be the Interest of all persons, any way concerned in the 
aflfayres of .the Bank, to be carefull to prevent, and to give advertise- 
ment of any attempt made to the impayring or prejudiceing the De- 
posits in the Bank ; for that their Livelyhoods and dependencies will lye 
in their preserving it in the greatest Repute, which upon the least vio- 
lation will be utterly Lost, and the Bank fall to the ground. 

2. These Managers aforesayd enter into and oblige themselves by 
Covenants and agreements to and with other persons called Assessors, 
(who were the Contrivers, Framers & Proposers of this affayre of the 
Bank : and of the Constitution, Rules & instructions to be observed in 
the management therof) for their diligence & faithfulnes in the discharge 
& execution of their respective Trusts, according to the sayd Constitu- 
tion ; and inviolably to observe the same, and all the Rules therof. 

3. These Assessors have also, by the said Constitution, the oversight 
& Comptroll of the whole affayre, to see the same be so managed : 
And to that end, are dayly to inspect the management therof : and 
that the said Rules be duly observed on both parts, viz 1 , as well on the 
part of the Bank, as of the persons dealing with them in every office, or 
branch of the Bank; that all things be done with ustice and impartial- 
lity between them. And in case of absence of the Managers, may sup- 
ply that defect, by their personall transacting the same things. 

4. Each of the sayd Managers and partners are also to Deposit 
moneys, & other estates in the Bank as a stock or Fund : which will be 
a further security and obligation upon them for their upright dealing, 
for, thereby every of themselves, and the whole partnership become 
personally Interested and concerned to be carefull in every thing : and 
the whole society liable to answer the damages. 

5. This undertaking was, in July 1 686, Proposed to the then President 


& Councill : and by them Referd to the consideration of the Grand & 
Standing Committee, consisting of Divers Eminent and worthy persons. 
Merchants and others, who Reported, as their opinion, that the erect- 
ing, Constituting & setliug of a Bank of Credit, Lumbard & Exchange 
of moneys as was Proposed, may be very usefull and conduceible, to 
the incourageing of Trade, Navigation, Manufactures, Planting & im- 
proving of Lands & Estates, Increasing his Majesties Revenues, Facili- 
tating the Payment therof, and of other Debts ; And removing the 
present greatest obstructions therunto in this and the neighboring ter- 
ritories & dominions of his Ma tie , &c. And therupon received their 
allowance and Approbation. As by the sayd Report, and Order of 
Councill therupon, bearing date the 27th day of September 1686, Re- 
lation being therunto had for better certainty therof, it doth & may 
more fully' & at large appeare. And, 

Thus you have notice of the Originall Nature and Constitution of 
this Bank. The way & manner of it ; and the Security of such as 
shall deale with them in this way. 

Secondly, As touching that which is farther Requisit for those 
to do and observe who shall voluntarily desire to Deale with 
this Bank. And the Rules to be attended, that thereby they 
may be made partakers of the benefits & advantages suggested, 
in the Instances before given ; Take it in those perticulars. 

1. You must Resolve to come to the Bank with as just a minde not 
to injure them, as all men that consider this Constitution, and know 
the persons imployed in the management and ordering the affayres 
therof will believe you shall finde in them towards you, viz', Seek 
not to circumvent the Bank by bad titles of Lands or Estates : which 
you cannot but know. For, If you do, you '1 be greatly injurious to 
them whose designe is to be so farr from injuring you, as they will, 
by all lawfull wayes, according to the honest Rules and meaning of the 
Bank, study to profit you : And this is no other than not to be or do 
evill to them who are good to you, which the very morall heathen will 

2. It will be also Requisit That you Assist, & what in you lyes 
Promote the Reputation of the Bank, & it's affayres & proceedings, 
in all lawfull wayes. For, 'tis a Generall Good to your Countrey, as 
well as perticular to your selves. 

3. These things Premised, by way of Caution, when you have 
occasion to use the Banks assistance, Bring such security of Lands 
or goods as you have to offer, and take what Credit can, by the Rules 
of the Bank, be afforded upon it. And when you have their Credit, 
use it in some honest calling, or other just and necessary occasion, that, 
with God's blessing on your lawfull indeavors, you may reap the bene- 


fit proposed ; and may thereby be enabled, at the time agreed on for 
Redemption, To pay in the value of the Credit given out, with Interest 
every six months, after the Rate of fower pounds P centu P annu, in 
Bank bills: and so proportionably for lesser time than One yeare, if 
you shall take out or Redeeme your Estate sooner, (which you are to 
have liberty to do at your pleasure) But if you shall Redeeme it 
with or make any payra' in moneys, you must pay forty shillings more 
in every hundred pounds: For, In order to the satisfaction and 
incouragement of such as doubt they shall not have money for their 
Bills : and, To the end the Current money that 's left in the Countrey, 
may be free for such as desire it, The Bank preferre their owne Bills 
to money, according to that proportion : and thereby give demonstra- 
tion, that every man that hath Bills may procure money for them, with 
advantage, if there be moneys in the Countrey. 

4. If you can not conveniently Redeme your estate by the time agreed, 
you are, notwithstanding, before or at the time appoynted, to Addresse 
your selfe to the Principall Managers, and propose to them the con- 
tinuance of your Deposit, for such longer time as you shall think fitt : 
And if the same be a mortgage of Lands of un-questionable title, 
paying your yearly Interest or praemium every six months, as afore- 
said, to that time, and charge of Registring your mortgage, they will 
prolong the same from yeare to yeare, as long as shall be desired, on 
the same termes. If, of staple goods and Merchandizes unperishable, 
(as for instance, Lead, Tinn, Iron, Copper &c) they will do the like : 
But, if of other goods that will be unsafe to keep longer than the time 
contracted for, or if any unforeseene incumbrances shall appeare on the 
said Lands, or question touching the validity of the Mortgagers title, 
you must either Redeeme them at the time or times agreed on, or they 
must and will sell them as soone after as they can, at the best Rates 
they can get ; Paying to you the overplus above the value of the 
Credit issued upon them, The interest then due as aforesaid, together 
with the charges of the warehouseroome for the time the sayd goods 
shall lye there deposited, and other charges in sale therof and removall 
if any be, which they will deduct therout : For, they must not suffer 
damage to the Bank, which would also be injurious to all those con- 
cerned with them as you are. 

5. You may at all usuall howers of the day have accesse to your 
goods in the Bank ware-houses, (in the presence of such as the Prin- 
cipall Managers shall substitute, and intrust with the keys therof) to 
see that your goods are not damnifyed, as also to Provide against the 
same, and to show them to Chapmen : In order wherunto, there will 
be Porters belonging to the Bank, such as they can intrust, and no 
others, to Remove or Romage your goods, and to do such businesse 
about them as you shall desire, you paying such moderate Rates for 


your goods lying there, as, according to their bulkinesse, shall be 
judged fitt, and agreed on to be reasonable to be allowed for the 
same, at the time of Depositing them, and during such time only as 
they shall continue there ; for, The Bank-warehouses will be to all men 
as their owne Warehouses, save that none will be admitted to come 
into them, but under observation that nothing be imbezzled, or unduly 
removed with out the managers order. 

6 You are also to Take notice by these presents Printed, and to 
owne and agree unto this as One Fundamental! Rule in the Constitu- 
tion of the Bank (without agreeing to which the Proposers & managers 
thereof dare not give you the assistance Proposed) That, in case the 
Creditors of this Bank shall agree to desire, and accordingly declare in 
writing, That there be a determination put thereto : Or, if on any 
other account whatsoever the Determination therof shall be judged 
necessary by the sayd Proposers & Managers and Declared in writing 
as aforesaid (w ch cannot be without allowance and ascertayning of a 
reasonable time betwixt the said Creditors and the sayd Proposers and 
managers for closing up the same, and the Accompts therof, so as may 
be without damage to them, or either of them) That, as no person 
is hereby, or shall be compelled to accept Bank bills of Credit, unlesse 
he shall voluntarily agree so to do, and for no longer time, nor other- 
wise than he shall so consent, So, no man paying his praemium & 
charges as aforesaid for the Credit he hath, shall be compelled to 
Redeeme his Pledge, being of personal estate, sooner than the time 
contracted for, and the nature of the goods deposited shall require. 
And to the End the Mortgager of Lands, of unquestionable good title, 
may not be distressed to his undoing, in case he should, by reason of 
such Declaration, be suddenly called upon to Redeeme the same, 
(which may be impossible for him to do in some yeares, through the 
scarceity of moneys) That all and every Mortgager of such Lands, 
in such case only, shall or may have and take six years time after such 
Declaration aforesayd to be allowed unto him his heirs or assignes, 
for Redemption of his Lands : He or they paying after the Rate of 
six pounds P centu P annum, in ready money, at the end of every 
six months, for the continuance of the Credit he had therupon, from 
such time as the sayd Declaration shall be perfected, untill he shall 
Redeem the same : And, That the Managers & undertakers of this 
Bank shall or may have and take One full years time more, from 
the expiration of the sayd six yeares, to be allowed unto them, for 
selling the said Lands, or such of them as shall not within the said 
six yeares be redeemed ; whereby they may be enabled to Receive in 
and exchange all Bank-bills then granted forth, into the now Current 
Coyne or moneys of this Countrey, or other Moneys being not of more 
intrinsique value than what now passes ; Or otherwise satisfy the same, 


by such Proportions of the said remayning Lands, or other effects, as 
shall be judged to be of equall value; Paying to all the Creditors who 
shall then have any Bills in their hands after the same Rate of Interest, 
for so long time after publishing the said Declaration as the said Bills 
shall remayne in the said Creditors hands un-occupied, with Deduction 
and allowance only of the praemium contracted for, as aforesaid : And 
that such Bank-bills, as, before such Declaration made, have been given 
forth, upon the Reall or personall securities aforementioned which 
remaine in the possession of the said Bank, may & shall be esteemed 
and passe as Current moneys, of the value of the present Coyne, in all 
Receipts & payments what so ever, during the sayd termes. 

Obj. 6. But, None of the forementioned cases reach my Circumstances 
and Condition : My Lands or goods are allready Mortgaged or incumbred 
to persons on a higher Rate of Interest : and they will not quitt them 
till I can pay them off. They say, They will not accept of Bank- 
bills : and if they would, you '1 not part with any till the Lands, &c, be 
really made over to the Bank. Can you Releive me and persons 
under my circumstances ? 

Ans. Doubt it not. If the person you are concerned with will not be 
lead by the Consideration of the Reall advantages to be made by Bills 
beyond moneys, herinbefore exprest, There will be other persons, 
whom you may be informed of at the Bank, who, on Bank-bills of such 
sum or value as you should pay in moneys, and assurance of the 
Bank's satisfaction in the title & value of your Lands &c will provide 
and lay downe the moneys you owe them, if there be any moneys in 
the Countrey to be had : and you shall also be assisted therin by the 
Bank's Counsell, Solicitor or attorney at Law, with advice & further- 
ance, as your case shall require, for the accomplishing your desires, on 
very reasonable termes. 

Obj. 7. But I have neither Lands nor Goods, that I can spare, yet if I 
could procure moneys, or such Credit as you speak of, I have been 
brought up to a calling wherin I could live and mantayne my family com- 
fortably, though I payd a higher Rate of Interest for it than the Bank 
requires : And I have friends too, that would Assist me upon my owne 
word or Bond, but they say money is not to be had, and they cannot 
help me. 

Ans. If your Friends have Lands or goods They may have this 
Credit, which will be equivalent with money, to supply you withall, at 
such Rate of Interest as you can afford to give, & as their friendship 
& charity shall incline them : whereby (also) they may be gayners, and 
thereby incouraged to assist you; if they jude you faithfull and labori- 
ous in any vocation likely to mantayne you. 

Much more might be sayd upon this Subject : But, These seeme to 
be sufficient to encourage an Attempt. And, the experimente of the 


things suggested will give such cleare Demonstrations of the usefull- 
nes, Advantage necessity and Security therof, as, Those who are not 
so prompt to receive things into their understandings by the Notions of 
them, or are prejudiced by mistaken apprehensions about them, may 
be presumed will follow others Examples in well-doing, when they are 
observed to thrive who goe before therin. 

We shall therfore Sum up all in this Generall Assertion, That, 
There will arise many more conveniencies & advantages by this Bank 
than have been Enumerated, or well can be. 

By this, The trade and wealth of this Countrey is established upon 
it's owne Foundation, & upon a medium or Ballance arising within it 
selfe, viz 1 , The Lands & Products of this Countrey ; and not upon 
the Importation of Gold or Silver or the Scarceity or plenty of them, 
or of any thing else from Forreigne Nations, which may be with-held, 
Prohibited or Enhansed, at their pleasures. 

Our owne Native Comodities will thus become improved to a suf- 
ficiencie for our owne use (at least) & thereby afford a comfortable 
subsistence to many ingenious and industrious persons amongst us, who 
know not at present how to subsist ; and this will draw over more 
inhabitants and Planters. 

It will not be in the power of any, by extortion and oppression, to 
make a Prey of the Necessitous. 

The Fishery of these parts will be improved, The Navigation and 
shipping increased for use or sale : 

Flis Majesties Revenues here, in consequence of all these, will be 
much inlarged. 

The Rents of Landed men will be increased, and the payment of 
them, and all publique taxes facilitated. Yea, The Purchase value of 
Lands will rise, For, the plenty of Money, or a valuable Credit equiv- 
lent therunto, and the Lowering of Interest, must necessarily have that 
effect. To which may be Added, That, The lesse need there is of 
money by reason of such current Credit, the more will be the increase 
of money itself, as, is manifest in Holland, Venice, and all places where 
Bank Credit supplyes those species. 

In Order therfore, and as Preavious to the entring upon this 
affayre : As it hath been Deemed Expedient to make publication of 
these things, in the Name of the Proposers, for information ; submit- 
ting them to the view and Consideration of all men ; That each may 
. know his owne share and interest in this Bank, and practice what he 
shall approve : So, These will be shortly followed with the tender and 
Proposall of a Subscription to be made (by such as shall voluntarily 
desire to be concern'd therin) of Receiving and Paying away the 
Bank-bills of Credit that shall be issued by this Partnership, as ready 
moneys, in all their Ordinary dealings of buying & selling One with 


another, and also, of and from all other persons with whom they shall 
have to do in their traffiquing affayres, wherupon they are to receive or 
pay Moneys. The Ground of which subscription is, To the end that, 
Before the Actuall issuing out of any Bills, it may, By the returne of 
such Subscriptions, be Rationally conjectured, that this undertaking will 
receive incouragement by such number of persons of all trades, callings, 
Ranks and conditions subscribing thereto, as may be judged sufficient 
to lay the Foundation of a Circulation and passing of this Credit, as 
ready moneys, By a Generall, Or at least considerable, voluntary 
vogue, though not universall concurrence, approbation & consent, 
which being, by the Returne of the sayd subscriptions made knowne to 
the Partnership shall be digested into Alphabetical Lists, as well of the 
names of the persons so subscribing to Consent, as of their respective 
Trades or callings, and places of habitations, To lye in a readines for 
the view of all who shall accept this Credit, that they may know with 
whom to buy and sell in this way. After which, no further time shall 
be lost, But the Proposers & Managers of this Bank will suddainly 
meet together, and sitt, from day to day, in some convenient place for 
carrying on the sayd affayre : Wherof notice shall be given, as also 
of the usuall bowers of their so meeting: That if any who shall not 
have subscribed such consent, upon the first tender therof, shall be 
desirous of further satisfaction by personall conference, Or, shall 
receive satisfaction, and desire to be enlisted as voluntary Dealers with 
the Bank, they may know when and where to apply themselves, for 
that purpose : and have their names &c, incerted in such Alphabeticall 
Lists, for observation, if they shall desire it. 

Quo comunius Eo melius. 

Mr. James F. Hunnewell read the following paper: — 

Another Bunker's Hill. 

At the meeting in January, 1903, I read an account of my 
visit to Bunker Hill in Derbyshire, England, and stated that 
if an opportunity occurred I proposed to visit another hill 
bearing the same name in Devonshire. On August 29th the 
opportunity came, and I now describe what I found. 

A direction to the latter is given in the Proceedings of the 
Society (II. xii. 423), where it is said that the Hill is near 
Bourton, " a farm house or two, and a few cottages," less than 
a mile from Totnes. 

At a corner of the pretty garden behind the " Seven Stars " 
in this quaint town, the landlord pointed out to me a high 



and long ridge with a slight upward curve, partly yellow with 
grain, and rising above intervening trees. That he said was 
Bunker's Hill, where on account of its prominence, I un- 
derstood, bonfires had been lighted to celebrate great events. 
Before I became acquainted with him and his attractive old 
house I had, however, found and ascended the Hill, taking 
my first direction from the Post Office. Crossing the Dart by 
the bridge at the foot of the long sloping main street of the 
town, the way is up another long street, steeper and not so 
straight, and then by a side road ascending higher. From 
time to time inquiring the way, as was necessary, I found that 
the Hill and Bourton were known by the persons I met, or, 
as might be stated, that they were generally known in the 
region, but no one could tell why the Hill received its name. 
The only person who ventured on a chronological statement 
was a gray old farmer, who replied that the name was given 
" afoor moi toime." It may be added that no success has 
rewarded a search among books. 

Going over a ridge and down hill by a sunken road lined by 
earth-banks and hedges in Devon style, I came to Bourton. It 
is not even a hamlet, but a farm-house up a short and dirty 
side lane, — a long, new-looking house, two-storied and slated, 
built of limestone. In front were dahlias and other flowers, 
a barnyard, and an older cow-house. Thence I walked across 
a hollow, and again ascended, three-quarters of a mile it 
seemed, by a winding road, little used, narrow and muddy, and 
much of it sunken. It led me to the crest of a broad and very 
elevated ridge, and this is Bunker's Hill, Devon. This crest 
extends half or three-quarters of a mile, and is traversed by a 
narrow grassy roadway lined on each side by rough hedges. 
I walked the whole distance, and here and there through 
openings in the hedges had wide and noble views in each 
direction. Southward they are over great swells of land with 
grass and hedges ; northward over a hilly rural country to the 
wild, bare heights of Dartmoor, — depressed pyramids, with 
the two lofty points or horns of Haytor most prominent. 
Twenty miles in each direction was seen the charming pic- 
turesqueness of Devon. From the American Bunker's Hill 
we can still see the rocky and forest-clad hills of the Middlesex 
Fells, looking wild and primitive as in the times of the Revolu- 
tion, or those of the earliest English settlers or of the aboriginal 


red-men. From the Devon Bunker's Hill we can still see the 
vast reach of lonely and mysterious Dartmoor, just as it was, 
seemingly, before the realm of England was, before the 
Romans saw it, as the earliest Britons knew it — - in a now 
densely inhabited country, — the same wild region that man 
has seen it from the shadowy prehistoric age to that of Sir A. 
Conan Doyle and the " Hound of the Baskervilles." 

No day could be clearer there than the one when I gazed 
on this wide landscape, alone with that ancient region, for, 
though an hour there, not another human being did I meet. 
I had seen all of ifc. In the morning we had driven from 
Torquay over high land commanding much of the view ; and 
our coachman, who knew the country, remarked that we 
might come twenty times and not have such clear weather. 
Before the next morning, to keep the average of local condi- 
tions, it was raining like the days of Noah revived. 

A visit to this Devon Hill gives one a walk of four or five 
miles, for parts of the road do not allow pleasant driving ; and 
it is a walk well worth taking, and commended to any one 
who delights in the best of old English scenery. 

Hon. Samuel A. Green communicated in behalf of Mr. 
Charles H. Hart, of Philadelphia, a Corresponding Mem- 
ber, the following paper : — 

Paul Revere' 's Portrait of Washington. 

It gives me much pleasure to present to the Massachusetts 
Historical Society a photograph of what I believe to be the 
long-looked-for portrait of Washington engraved by Paul 
Revere. In the Life of Revere by E. H. Goss (Boston, 1891), 
on page 501, is printed a letter from Paul Revere to his cousin 
Mathias Rivoire, in France, in which Revere says: "Before 
this reaches you, you will have heard of the victory gained 
over the British Army by the Allied Armies, commanded by 
the brave General Washington. A small engraving of him, I 
send enclosed. It is said to be a good likeness and it is my 
engraving." Rivoire writes in reply : " I have received in 
course your letter, dated 6th of October, 1781, together with 
a silver seal and an engraving of General Washington, rep- 
resenting a gallant warrior." We are so apt to regard the 
term " engraving " as applying only to those done upon copper 


or upon steel, that we have looked for a small copperplate 
portrait of Washington, signed by Revere, similar to his 
portraits of Sam Adams and of John Hancock published in 
the " Royal American Magazine" for 1774; overlooking the 
fact that Revere engraved not a little on type metal, and that 
his " small engraving " of Washington could not have been 
signed, or he would not have written " it is my engraving." 

In my researches, during the past six years, while preparing 
for the Grolier Club my " Catalogue Raisonne of the Engraved 
Portraits of Washington," which will be issued next January, 
I have kept a close lookout for this Revere Washington, but 
it has eluded my vigilance, unless I am correct in my view 
that the type-metal portrait (2^ x 3 inches) photographed is 
the one by Revere that we have been seeking. It will be 
borne in mind it was in the year 1781 that Revere sent the 
portrait of Washington to France. In this same year, 1781, 
there was published in Boston, by John McDougall & Co., 
" Weatherwise's Town and Country Almanack," on page 7 
of which is printed the type-metal portrait of " His Excel- 
lency | George Washington Esq | Commander in Chief of the 
Armies of the | United States of America," which I have had 

Now while I admit it is difficult to understand how anything 
so coarse and crude could be called " a good likeness," or be 
commented upon as representing " a gallant warrior," I 
believe this to be the "small engraving" sent by Revere to 
his cousin Rivoire that has been sought for in vain so longf. 
It is after Peale's portrait of Washington, which he scraped 
in mezzotinto, in 1778, and of which I know of but three 
impressions, one being in your own cabinet. The ornamental 
border around the portrait is much in the style of Revere's 
engraved work on his silverware, as also on his ex libris 
plates ; and it is also quite like the type-metal headpiece of 
the " Royal American Magazine," which Revere did engrave. 
The titlepage of the almanac mentions " a large and beau- 
tiful copperplate representing a Picturesque View of Great 
Britain " as an embellishment. I have been able to find but 
five copies l of the Weatherwise Almanack, for 1781, and un- 

1 In the Library of the Massachusetts Historical Society, first and second 
editions ; in the Library of Congress ; in the Public Library of Boston, and in the 
collection of Mr. E. B. Holden, New York; the latter the one photographed. 


fortunately not one of them has this " beautiful copperplate," 
an inspection of which might show the name of Paul Revere 
as its engraver, which fact would be strong persuasive proof 
that the type-metal portrait of Washington, in the same 
almanac, was by the same hand. I think therefore this type- 
metal portrait of Washington may be accepted as the Revere 
u small engraving" until the ascription is disproved by the 
production of a copperplate print bearing his name as en- 
graver. My reasons may be marshalled as follows: — 

1. The year in which the portrait was sent to France by 
Revere and published in Weatherwise's Almanack is the same, 

2. The portrait sent to France was a " small engraving," 
and did not bear Revere's name, or he would not have added 
" it is my engraving." 

3. It is upon type-metal, a composition engraved upon by 

. 4. Its style is similar to work by Revere upon silver- 
ware, ex libris plates, and the headpiece to the " Royal 
American Magazine." 

Remarks were also made during the meeting by Messrs. 
Henry W. Haynes and Charles C. Smith. 

Two new serials, one covering the record of the October 
meeting, and the other that of the November meeting, were 
ready for distribution. 






For more than two and a half centuries the ancestry of 
Roger Wolcott has held a high place in the annals of New 
England and the country. 1 

In the year 1630 Henry Wolcott, a country gentleman from 
Tolland, Somersetshire, with his wife and sons, landed at Bos- 
ton. Settling first at Dorchester, he removed with Mr. Ware- 
ham's church to Windsor, Connecticut, where he became a 
leading citizen, being a member of the lower house of the first 
General Assembly held in Connecticut in 1637, and a member 
of the House of Magistrates. His son Simon was a selectman 
of Simsbury and captain of the train band. 

In 1679 Roger Wolcott, son of Simon, was born. He held 
many public offices, and as a Major-General was second to Sir 
William Pepperrell in command of the expedition to Cape 
Breton. In 1750 and for four successive years he was Gov- 
ernor of the Colony of Connecticut. Roger's son, Oliver, also 
held many offices in the colony : he was a member of the 
Continental Congress, a signer of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, Major-General of the militia of Connecticut, Lieu- 
tenant-Governor, and finally Governor. 

Of the two sons of Oliver Wolcott, the first, Oliver, served 
in Congress and in the army, was Comptroller of the Treas- 
ury, and succeeded Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the 
Treasury. For two years he was Governor of Connecticut. 
The second son, Frederic, who was grandfather of the subject 
of this memoir, was a public-spirited citizen, and served the 

1 Vide Koger Wolcott, by William Lawrence. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 
Boston, 1902. 




State in the Legislature and on the bench. He married Eliza- 
beth Huntington, whose grandfather, Jabez Huntington, served 
in the War of the Revolution as a Major-General of the State 
Militia ; and whose father, Joshua, joined Putnam's Brigade and 
was commissioned Colonel. Joshua Huntington Wolcott, son 
of Frederic and Elizabeth Huntington Wolcott, father of Roger 
Wolcott, came to Boston as a young man, and after serving as 
senior apprentice in the counting-house of A. and A. Law- 
rence, became a partner in the firm. 

He was a man of public spirit, high character, and ability, 
and of exceptional grace of manner and dignity of bearing. 
He married Cornelia, daughter of Samuel Frothingham, of 

On July 13, 1847, their second son, Roger, was born. His 
youth was passed in Boston, and at Blue Hill, Milton : he at- 
tended Mr. Dixwell's school in Boston, and was nurtured in 
the pure and religious influence of his home. The outbreak 
of the War of the Rebellion and its events made a deep im- 
pression upon the boy. His only brother, Huntington, a youth 
of eighteen, went to the front as a lieutenant in the Second 
Regiment of Cavalry, Massachusetts Volunteers, and after 
serving creditably in the last campaign before Richmond, was 
brought home to die of typhoid fever. Inseparable as the 
brothers had been through boyhood, Huntington's chivalry 
and patriotism deeply affected Roger's character and were his 
constant inspiration in later life. 

After a year with his parents in Europe he entered Harvard 
College in the sophomore year and graduated with the class of 
1870. He took high rank, was class orator, and had the re- 
spect of teachers and classmates. He taught at the College for 
a year in French and History, passed a year in the law office 
of Lothrop, Bishop, & Lincoln, and two years in the Harvard 
Law School, from which he graduated in 1874. The same 
year he was admitted to the Suffolk Bar. 

Entering upon the practice of law, he was soon drawn into 
matters of public and philanthropic interest, and accepted also 
positions of commercial responsibility. In 1877, 1878, and 
1879 he served as a member of the Common Council of the 
City of Boston. In 1882, 1883, and 1884 he was an efficient 
and respected member of the lower house of the State 


Although Mr. Wolcott was by inheritance and conviction a 
member of the Republican Party, he felt unable to support 
the presidential nominee of that party in 1884, Mr. James G. 
Blaine, whose leadership meant to him the encouragement of 
unworthy and evil elements in the national government. He 
therefore voted for the Democratic candidate, Mr. Cleveland. 

Soon after, Mr. Wolcott's high character, independence, and 
efficient service in public office won to him the support of a 
body of young Massachusetts Republicans who were work- 
ing for higher standards in the party, and in 1890 he was 
elected first president of the Young Men's Republican Club of 

At the State Republican Convention of 1892 he was nom- 
inated for the office of Lieutenant-Governor, and entered 
actively into the campaign. William E. Russell, then the pop- 
ular Governor of the State, a Democrat, was re-elected. With 
that exception the Republican ticket was successful, and Mr. 
Wolcott became Lieutenant-Governor. 

In his delicate position as Lieutenant to a Governor of a 
different party, Mr. Wolcott acted with tact and decision. 

In the three following years, with Frederic T. Greenhalge 
at the head of the Republican ticket, Mr. Wolcott was re- 
elected Lieutenant-Governor, and upon the death of Governor 
Greenhalge, March 5, 1896, he became acting Governor. Just 
a century before, in the year 1796, Oliver Wolcott, then 
Lieutenant-Governor of Connecticut, announced to President 
Washington that in consequence of the death of Governor 
Samuel Huntington he had entered upon the duties of the 
office of Governor. 

In 1896 occurred the critical election in which the Repub- 
lican party, led by Mr. McKinley, defeated the Democratic 
with Mr. Bryan at its head. Mr. Wolcott, who was nominated 
by the Republicans for Governor, took an active part in the 
campaign, and in the election swept every city and town 
(except one) in the State, being elected by a much greater 
majority than had ever before been given to a Governor of 
Massachusetts. In 1897 he was again elected by a great 
majority, and again in 1898. 

Until the outbreak of the war with Spain there were no 
special events to mark the administration of Mr. Wolcott. 
Conscientious, a hard worker, approachable, frank, and genial, 



Mr. Wolcott filled the office with dignity, efficiency, and grace. 
By positive action he protected the rights of the people, up- 
held the purity of the civil service, and improved the methods 
of State administration. 

During the months preceding the war with Spain, Mr. Wolcott 
sympathized strongly with the efforts of the President to avoid a 
war; at the same time he was active in forwarding the prepa- 
rations of the militia for active service in case a call for troops 
should be made. When therefore war was declared, Massa- 
chusetts sustained the high reputation for promptness of ser- 
vice which she had gained in earlier wars. Hers was the first 
volunteer regiment to report in a United States camp and to 
land in Cuba. The excellence of their equipment led to the 
sending of her regiments to the front; hence the State had a 
larger proportion of her troops in Cuba and Porto Rico than 
any other State in the Union. 

Governor Wolcott, whose father had been treasurer of the 
Sanitary Commission in the Civil War, was also active in or- 
ganizing volunteer methods for the relief of the sick and 
wounded. He gave to the soldiers such personal attention and 
sympathy as won for him the affection of the men and in- 
creased the loyalty which the people of the Commonwealth 
felt for him. 

Mr. Wolcott, whose bearing was that of a high-born gen- 
tleman, was thoroughly democratic in his feelings and convic- 
tions. He confided in the people and knew no distinction of 
classes. The people had full confidence in his just adminis- 
tration of public office. Coming to his decisions deliberately, 
he showed in them a thorough knowledge of the facts, wis- 
dom, and an excellent judgment. Tall and erect in form, 
handsome in feature, and gracious in manner, frank and true, 
he gained the hearts of men, women, and children throughout 
the Commonwealth. 

The public life of Mr. Wolcott was simply one expression 
of his sense of duty and gladness of service. To that he gave 
much of his strength, as it came to him by the call of the 
people. He was a man, however, of broad sympathies and 
varied interests. He had a keen love of literature, he was a 
student of history, especially of his own country, and was an 
active and useful member of this Society. 

As an Overseer of Harvard Universit}^, he gave much 



thought to its administration, and was always loyal to its best 

He was of a domestic nature. His filial devotion was ex- 
ceptionally tender, and his married life most happy. In 1874 
he married Edith Prescott, daughter of William Gardner Pres- 
cott, and granddaughter of the historian, William Hickling 
Prescott. He left four sons and a daughter. 

His religious faith was deep and simple. He was a Unita- 
rian, a faithful worshipper and communicant in King's Chapel. 

Having served the State for seven years as Lieutenant- 
Governor and Governor, Mr. Wolcott retired from office at 
the close of the year 1899, and soon went to Europe with his 
family for a few months of rest. 

President McKinley, appreciating his character and ability, 
asked him to serve on the Philippine Commission, and ap- 
pointed him to the post of Ambassador to Italy. These 
positions he declined. 

In November Mr. Wolcott returned home. He was almost 
immediately attacked by typhoid fever, and on December 21, 
1900, died at his home in Boston, mourned by the whole 

[A fuller account of the life and character of the subject of this memoir was 
published by the writer of it in 1902. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 12mo. 
pp. 238. — Eds.] 







Dear Sir, — You requested me, some months ago, to fur- 
nish you with an account of the principal incidents of my life, 
which I, somewhat inconsiderately perhaps, promised to do. 
Of this promise you have repeatedly reminded me. I feel more 
than ever, as I approach the subject, that those incidents are 
of no importance to any one but myself; and no consideration 
but that of my repeated promise induces me now to attempt 
the narrative. I do it without leisure to refer to any memo- 
randum, and may therefore fall into some slight inaccuracies, 
in recalling the events of a period exceeding one half of " the 
three score years and ten." 

I was born at Dorchester, in the County of Norfolk and 
State of Massachusetts. My father, Oliver Everett, was the 
son of a farmer in the town of Dedham of the same county, 
and descended from one of the early settlers of Massachusetts, 
who established himself in Dedham, nearly two centuries ago, 
where the family still remains, like their predecessors for five 
generations, respectable cultivators of the soil. My father 
was one of nine or ten children, and the moderate circum- 
stances of my grandfather put it out of his power to give more 
than one of his sons a college education. One of my uncles 
was selected for this purpose, and my father was apprenticed 
to the trade of a carpenter, a trade which had been pursued 
by other members of the family. My father's constitution was 
not robust, and he found the trade, to which he had been ap- 
prenticed, beyond his strength. He however served out his 

1 See ante, p. 62. For the tributes to Mr. Everett at a special meeting of the 
Society held January 30, 1865, see Proceedings, vol. viii. pp. 101-170. — Eds. 


time at it ; and then contrived, by what means I have never 
heard, to fit himself for [Harvard] college, which he entered 
in 1775. The age he had then attained — twenty-four — • 
shows that he had to struggle hard to effect this object. 

The college, like everything else, suffered severely by the 
war. There was no commencement in 1779, when my father 
took his degree. In five years, he was settled in the New 
South Church in Boston. President Allen, in his Biographical 
Dictionary, remarks of him that, " after a ministry of ten 
years, and after having acquired a high reputation for the 
very extraordinary powers of his mind, the state of his health 
induced him to ask a dismission from his people in 1792." 
He was succeeded by Dr. Kirkland, afterwards President of 
Harvard College. 

On my father's retiring from the ministry, he purchased a 
small estate in Dorchester, upon which he supported his fam- 
ily, upon the frugal savings of his salary, for the rest of his 
life. In 1799 he was appointed a judge in the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas for Norfolk County. On the decease of General 
Washington, he was requested, by the citizens of Dorchester, 
to deliver a eulogy before the town, which was printed. My 
father's health was feeble, from the time of his leaving Boston, 
and he died at the age of fifty-one, on the 19th of December 
1802, leaving my mother a widow with seven children, to which 
number an eighth was soon added. 

My mother was the daughter of Alexander [Sears] Hill, 
whose father and forefathers had been Boston merchants 
from a very early period of the settlement. My mother's 
father had married and established himself in business at 
Philadelphia, where my mother was born. Both her parents 
died, leaving my mother and one sister orphans, at a tender 
age and without propert}'. My great-grandfather, Mr. Alex- 
ander Hill of Boston, (who survived my mother's father thirty 
years,) took my mother and her sister home ; the sister died, 
and my mother was brought up by my great-grandfather. I 
believe my father married about 1785. 

I was born on the 11th April 1794, being preceded by two 
brothers and one sister (born in Boston) and followed by a 
sister and three brothers. Although my mother had good ex- 
pectations from her grandfather, who was thought a rich man 
for those days and had but two heirs to his estate besides my 


mother, yet as he outlived my father, I believe my father ac- 
quired no property by his marriage. He brought up his family 
in a decent but strictly economical manner. 

I was sent at the age of three years to a school kept by a 
school-mistress in the neighborhood ; and at the age of five, I 
went, with my elder brothers, to the town school on the Meet- 
ing-house hill. I was put into the lowest class in the school, 
but it was above my capacity. I remember I used to spell the 
words just as the boy above me did, which was, of course, 
wrong, or they would not have passed to me. But I could 
think of no other way. I recollect some trifling incidents as 
far back as 17D7, when I was three years old ; and I recollect 
writing 1799 at the bottom of the page in my writing 
book, and this is the oldest date of the } T ear which, as such, 
I remember. I began the study of English grammar out of 
the compend of Caleb Bingham. I recollect being perplexed 
by the schoolmaster's erasing the pluperfect tense of the verb, 
from my little Accidence. If it was wrong, I wondered why 
it was put in the book ; if it was right, I wondered why it was 
crossed out by the master. 

In the summer of 1802, I left the school on the Meeting- 
house hill, to go to the district-school, then newly erected, 
opposite the north burying ground, near our home, and kept 
by Mr. Wilkes Allen, now the minister at Chelmsford. I was 
but about eight years old, but as the school mostly consisted of 
small boys, I was in the first class. Not long after the estab- 
lishment of this school, in which my father had taken an active 
interest, he died, after an illness of fourteen days. I was too 
young at the time to feel the extent of my loss, which I have 
had reason to do very seriously in the course of my after life. 

In the spring of 1803 my mother removed with the family 
to Boston, that she might be near her grandfather, near whom 
she took a house, at the North end of Boston. I was sent 
to the public reading and writing schools, in North School 
[Bennet] Street. The former was kept by Mr. Ezekiel Little, 
the latter by old Master Tileston. The system of instruc- 
tion at that time pursued at our public schools was exceed- 
ingly imperfect. I received one of the Franklin Medals for 
reading, I think at the summer visitation of the schools in 
1804. About this time, I ceased going to the writing school ; 
and in the part of the day thus left vacant, I began the study 


of Latin, reciting at a private hour to Mr. Little. He put me 
first into Cheever's Accidence, and afterwards into Corderius. 
Oil my great-grandfather's death, which happened [at] this 
season, my mother removed to the southerly part of the town. 
The expense of a private school was inconvenient, but the 
public Latin school, under Master Hunt, was in a state of dis- 
organization. I was accordingly placed at a private school, at 
the lower end of Rowe's lane, kept by Mr. Ezekiel Webster, 
afterwards a gentleman of great eminence at the bar of New 
Hampshire. While I attended this school, Mr. E. Webster, 
for sickness or some other cause, was absent for about a 
month ; and his place was supplied by his brother, Mr. Daniel 
Webster, who had then just completed his law studies in 

In 1805 the public Latin school was put on a better footing, 
at first under the Rev. S. C. Thacher and afterwards under 
Mr. William Biglow, Lender these gentlemen I passed about 
two years at this school. The system of instruction, compared 
with what it now is, was lamentably defective. I went 
through at this school about all the books usually studied, 
preparatory to entering college. At the annual visitation of 
1806 I received one of the Franklin Medals ; and at a semi- 
annual visitation next winter I delivered an English oration 
of my own composition, which, as far as I recollect, was much 
inferior to similar performances of boys of the same standing, 
at the present day. 

I belonged to a youthful society for declamation, the mem- 
bers of which used to meet at each others' houses. I was 
among the poorest speakers, and made little or no improve- 
ment. Neither did I derive any advantage from the exercises 
in speaking, which were had once a week at school. I wanted 
courage to make the first essay at improvement ; and as our 
master did not possess the art of speaking well himself, he 
could not impart it to others. 

At a private school kept by Mr. Biglow from 11 to 1, I 
made some progress in Arithmetic, of which I was very fond. 
In company with a school-fellow, I used to devote Thurs- 
day and Saturday afternoons (which were half-holidays) to 

In February 1807 I urged my mother to send me to the 
Academy at Exeter, where my brother was an instructor. 


The Academy then (as now) was under the charge of Dr. 
Abbot, a most respectable man and a very able teacher. As I 
should there be under my brother's eye my mother consented. 
I left home alone in the stage for Exeter in February 1807 ; 
and as this was my first excursion from home, it seemed to me 
a great event. 

At this excellent school I revised all my former studies, 
and attended to some new ones. I improved my handwriting 
and made some progress in speaking. At the exhibition of 
1807, when I left the Academy, I spoke a Latin oration of 
my own composition. I passed but two terms, of three months 
each, at Exeter, but derived great advantage from the time 
spent there. 

Thus was completed my school education, which, with little 
exception, I received from the public free schools of my native 
town of Dorchester and of Boston. 

I entered the freshman class at Cambridge in August 1807, 
being a few months over thirteen years of age, the youngest 
in my class. I was, however, protected by my boyhood from 
some of the temptations which assail young men at college. 
The system then pursued at Cambridge was vastly inferior, to 
that now existing ; and did not furnish full employment to 
boys well fitted. Besides the studies enjoined, I attended to 
the study of French for one quarter, under M. Faucon. This 
study I resumed at intervals afterwards, and learned to read 
the language tolerably well, but not to speak a word. No in- 
struction was then given in any other modern language, at 
Cambridge. At the present day, besides French, German, 
Italian, and Spanish are thoroughly taught. 

In my sophomore year, besides attending to the required 
studies, I read a good deal of the standard English literature. 
I read Rollin's Ancient History, the two historical works of 
Roscoe, Robertson's Charles V., Boswell's Johnson, most of 
Goldsmith's miscellaneous works, and all the novels I could 
get hold of. At the close of the sophomore year, I received, 
with my classmate John C. Gray, an appointment to a Latin 
dialogue, at the autumnal exhibition. We translated a scene 
from Dr. Johnson's Irene. 

In the junior year, as also in the senior, I lived with John 
C. Gray as a room-mate. I continued my miscellaneous read- 
ing as before. In the winter vacation, I kept a school for ten 


weeks in the country [at East Bridge water]. Nearly half 
my scholars of both sexes were older than myself ; and though 
I met with no particular difficulty, it was hard work, and I 
was heartily glad when it was over. In the summer of this 
year, seven or eight of my class, of whom I was one, set up a 
little semi-monthly magazine, which reached the eighteenth 
number [the Harvard Lyceum]. I wrote a good deal in it; 
but it was, as might be expected, a boyish affair. At the close 
of my junior year I was appointed to the English oration at 
the autumnal exhibition. In the fall vacation of the same 
year I made a journey in company with one of my classmates 
to Philadelphia. We sailed in a packet from Newport to New 
York, and touched on a rock, at the entrance of Hurlgate, 
where we lay some hours. From New York to Elizabethtown 
we went in a steamboat, the first I had ever seen ; indeed one 
of the first built. On our return, we took a packet from New 
York for Providence, but were obliged to put into New London 
in a gale. This was my first excursion into the world. 

In October of this year, 1810, Dr. Kirkland became Presi- 
dent of the college. He had ever been the friend of the family, 
and treated me at all times with a kindness and rendered me 
services which have laid me under the strongest obligations. 
In August 1811 I was graduated, and delivered the valedictory 
English Oration of my class. 

At this period the reputation of the Rev. Mr. Buckminster 
was at its height. Our family in Boston attended his church. 
He took a great deal of kind notice of me, and I visited him b}^ 
appointment, once a week. He encouraged me to the choice 
of his profession ; which, under this influence, I was led to 
adopt. I boarded in the house of President Kirkland, at 
Cambridge, as a resident graduate; and besides pursuing my 
regular studies, I acquired a reading knowledge of German, 
without an instructor. 

In August 1812, after I had been out of college a year, I was 
appointed Latin tutor. As the officers' apartments in the col- 
lege were full, I continued to live in the President's house. 
My instructions were confined to the freshman class, and I 
met with no difficulties in the discharge of my duties. 

In the autumn of 1813, being then less than nineteen and 
a half years old, I entered on my profession, and was pretty 
soon invited to the church in Brattle Street, where I suc- 



ceeded my lamented friend Mr. Buckminster. My duties 
were arduous beyond my years, strength or experience. I 
increased their burden by undertaking a reply to Mr. Eng- 
lish's work against the evidences of Christianity. My per- 
formance was hastily prepared, but Mr. English, at the time, 
attempted no answer to it. After his return from Egypt, 
he circulated what he called a Reply in Manuscript. He 
showed it to a friend of mine, who proposed to him to com- 
municate it to me. Mr. English expressed an apprehension, 
that, if I got it into my hands, I should destroy it. My 
friend put him at ease on this point, and I read it. It did 
not appear to me to need any rejoinder. He called it the 
" Five Pebbles," thereby making himself the David and me 
the Goliah of the contest. This seemed to me not ingenuous. 
He was much my senior in years, and preceded me four years 
in college ; he wrote his book at his leisure, and after a much 
longer course of professional study than mine. His work in 
reply was privately published, as I have understood, at the 
expense of one of the associates of Mr. Owen. 

In the fall of 1814 I went with my friend Mr. Thacher on 
a little journey to the banks of the Kennebec, in the then dis- 
trict of Maine. I was delighted with the aspect of this part of 
the country. Later in the same year, my health suffering from 
confinement,. I went to Washington. I carried letters of in- 
troduction to Mr. Jefferson, but I did not proceed as far as 
Monticello. I made the acquaintance of Mr. Madison, who 
treated me with great kindness. 

Shortly after my return from Washington, I was invited by 
the Corporation and Overseers of the University to the place of 
[Eliot] Professor of Greek Literature. Finding my health suf- 
fering from the duties of my profession, and receiving, with 
the invitation to Cambridge, permission to pass two years in 
Europe, I accepted the offer, asked and received a dismission 
from my church, and was immediately introduced into the new 
office, being then somewhat under twenty-one years of age. 

I embarked for Europe on the 16th of April 1815, on the 
second ship that sailed from Boston after the conclusion of 
the treaty of peace. We arrived at Liverpool about the 12th 
of May, and learned, on our arrival, the escape of Napoleon 
from Elba. I proceeded to London and staid there some 
weeks. During this period, I made the acquaintance of sev- 



eral distinguished persons, among others of Lord Byron. While 
I was in London the battle of Waterloo was fought. 

From London I went to Holland by the way of Harwich 
and Helvoetsluys ; and after a few days passed at Rotterdam, 
Amsterdam, Leyden and the other Dutch cities, I proceeded 
towards Germany. I was accompanied by Mr. G. Ticknor (who 
intended, with me, to pass some time at a German University) 
and by a youth of eleven or twelve years of age (the son of a 
friend), who was to be placed at school in Europe, under my 

We took the route of Utrecht, Arnheim, Minister, Pader- 
born, and Cassel to Gottingen : which was at that time the 
seat of the most famous University in Germany, where I de- 
termined to fix myself. After a few weeks devoted to the 
study of the German language, I began to attend several 
courses of lectures. 

My leave of absence for two years, originally granted chiefly 
with a view to travelling for my health, was now extended to 
four. Of this I passed more than two years at Gottingen in 
assiduous application to study. I usually passed from fourteen 
to sixteen hours every day, in attendance in the lecture room 
or preparation for it. 

In the course of my residence in Germany, I made an ex- 
cursion to Weimar, Leipzig, Dresden, Berlin, and the other 
towns on the route ; and saw most of the distinguished men, 
then living in this part of Germany, among them the poet 
Goethe. I also made an excursion to Holland, to visit my 
brother, then living at the Hague, as Secretary of Legation. 
I went by the way of Hanover, Minden, and Deventer, and 
returned by the way of the Rhine and Frankfort. On this 
excursion I was accompanied by a fellow student, Mr. George 
Glarakis, a Greek from the island of Scio. His father was one 
of the victims of Turkish barbarity in that island in 1821 : and 
he himself, at a later period, became Secretary of the Pro- 
visional Greek government. Just before leaving Gottingen, 
I made a journey on foot through the Harz mountains. 

In the fall of 1817 I went to Paris, where I passed the win- 
ter. I enjoyed a great advantage in the pursuit of my studies, 
in a free access to the King's library. As I was to visit Greece 
and Italy, before my return to America, I devoted some time 
to the Italian and Modern Greek languages. My master in 


Italian was a descendant of an Albanian family, who took refuge 
in Naples, in the time of Scanderbeg ; and my teacher in Mod- 
ern Greek was a student of medicine from Constantinople. I 
enjoyed the friendship of Koray, whose writings have had great 
effect in bringing about the revolution in Greece. My ac- 
quaintance and intercourse were principally with men of letters. 
Among others I became acquainted with Visconti, W. von 
Humboldt, the Abbe de Pradt and Benj. Constant. I also saw 
Gen. Lafayette occasionally. 

In the spring of 1818 I went over to England. After pass- 
ing a few weeks in London, I staid some time at Cambridge 
and Oxford ; visited Wales and the Lakes, and then made a 
short excursion to Edinburgh and the highlands of Scotland. 
I passed a few days at the house of Sir Walter Scott at Ab- 
botsford, and visited Dugald Stewart ; and while I was in Great 
Britain, I saw most of the distinguished men of letters, poets 
and statesmen. I had an Italian servant, while travelling in 
England, who is now established as an innkeeper, on the bank 
of the Lago Maggiore, on the way to Milan, and almost every 
year sends me a message by some American traveller. 

In the fall of 18181 returned to France by the way of South- 
ampton, Havre, and Rouen ; and immediately commenced a 
journey to Switzerland and Italy, in company with Mr. Theo- 
dore Lyman, jr. We took the road to Lyons; passed a few 
days at Geneva ; visited Chamouni and the glaciers of Mont 
Blanc ; made a very interesting circuit through Switzerland by 
the way of Lausanne, Bern, Lucerne, Schwyz, Altdorf and 
the Valais, and crossed the Simplon to Milan, passing through 
Lombardy to Venice, and thence backward over the Apennines 
to Florence. We staid two or three weeks at this place and 
thence proceeded to Rome. I passed the winter months at 
Rome, occupied in the study of Roman antiquities. Almost 
every day, I went to the library of the Vatican. In the course 
of the winter, I made the acquaintance of the members of the 
Bonaparte family resident at Rome, and visited the mother of 
Napoleon, the princess Borghese his sister, Louis the ex-king 
of Holland, and Lucien ; the latter frequently. 

In February 1819 we went to Naples and while there made an 
excursion to Passtum. After passing three weeks at Naples, and 
visiting the neighborhood on both sides — Baise, Vesuvius, Pom- 
peii, and Herculaneum, — we started for Greece, and took the 


route for Bari, a seaport on the Adriatic a little south of the 
gulf of Manfred onia, expecting to find a vessel there for Corfu. 
In this we were disappointed ; and being advised to go down to 
Otranto we traversed the North-Eastern part of the kingdom of 
Naples, through Lecce and Taranto to Otranto. There were at 
this time no carriage roads, nor public conveyances in this part 
of Naples, and it was much infested with brigands. We trav- 
elled on horseback from Bari to Otranto. At Lecce we found 
the English general Church sent into the province, with an 
army, to exterminate the robbers, in which he was very 
successful. He has been since a generalissimo in the Grecian 

We took passage in a small vessel from Otranto to Corfu, 
one of the seven Ionian islands, where we were hospitably re- 
ceived by Sir Thomas Maitland, the British Lord High Com- 
missioner. From Corfu we passed over in a row boat to the 
coast of Albania ; and proceeded to Yanina, its capital, where 
we were received with great kindness by Ali Pacha, to whom 
I had a letter from Lord Byron and another from Dr. Holland, 
who both appeared to stand high in Ali's regard. From Ya- 
nina we crossed Mount Pindus, and visited Veli Pacha, (the 
second son of Ali) Pacha of Thessaly, whom we found at his 
residence at Turnavo. We were introduced to hirn by letter 
from his older brother, Muctar Pacha, governor of the city of 
Yanina. Having gone as far as the vale of Tempe to the 
North, we turned on our steps; crossed Thessaly to Ther- 
mopylae, (passing by Pharsalia) and took the road over Mount 
Parnassus to Delphi, Thebes, and Athens. From Athens, we 
made an excursion over the Isthmus of Corinth to Sparta, and 
returned by the way of Parnassus to the north of Greece, where 
we embarked in the Gulf of Volo, for the Dardanelles. After 
visiting Troy, we proceeded to Constantinople. We passed 
through this interesting country about ten months before open 
war was declared by the Porte against Ali Pacha; — which 
war brought on the Greek revolution. 

We staid about three weeks at Constantinople, in the month 
of June 1819. Under the guidance of Sir R. Listen, the Eng- 
lish ambassador, we had an opportunity of seeing the impe- 
rial mosques (among them St. Sophia's) and the other objects 
of interest in the city and its neighborhood. We saw the pres- 
ent Sultan, then thirty-eight years old, on the way to the, 


mosque on Friday, the only occasion on which he can be seen 
by foreigners, not officially presented to him. 

We took our departure from Constantinople by land, towards 
the end of June ; traversed Thrace ; passed through Adria- 
nople ; crossed the Balkan mountains, a few miles westward 
of the road taken by the Russian army, in the late invasion ; 
passed the Danube at Nicopol, and thus through Wallachia to 
Bucharest. After a few days spent at Bucharest, we took the 
road to the Turkish frontier; and entered the Austrian domin- 
ions, at the pass of Rothenturn. Here we had to pass a week's 
quarantine, in a secluded vale of the Aluta, at the foot of a 
branch of the Carpathian mountains. After we were liber- 
ated, we proceeded to Hermanstadt, the capital of Transyl- 
vania, and thence through the Bannat of Temeswar, across 
Hungary, to Vienna. We passed a short time at this beauti- 
ful metropolis of the Austrian empire ; and thence proceeded 
through Austria, the Tyrol, and Bavaria to Paris. From Paris, 
we passed over to London, and in the beginning of September 
1819 took passage for America. I arrived at New York on 
the 7th of October 1819, after an absence of nearly four years 
and seven months. 

Immediately on my return, I was urged from many quarters 
to preach. I did so first at my former church. Finding these 
calls to multiply greatly, and deeming it not strictly proper, 
while engaged in other pursuits, to continue those of my 
former profession, I determined at length to retire from it 
altogether. I preached for the last time in the summer 
of 1822. 

Shortly after my arrival in Boston, in the autumn of 1819, 
I was requested by the proprietors of the North American Re- 
view, a company of gentlemen five in number, to assume the 
editorship of that journal. The work had for some time been 
conducted with great ability, but was nevertheless in a languid 
state. The subscription list was under six hundred, and it 
was not increasing. It was published six times a year. I 
changed it to a quarterly journal, and commenced a new series. 
I received very efficient aid from the former contributors and 
from many new ones. Tlie circulation rapidly increased ; and 
the subscription list swelled so fast, that it became necessary 
to print the second and third editions of several of the numbers. 
I edited this journal till the end of 1823, when it passed into 


the hands of Mr. Sparks. I have, however, continued ever 
since to contribute to its pages. 

Shortly after my return to America, I took up my abode at 
Cambridge and. entered on the discharge of my duties, as 
professor of Greek literature. In the course of 1820 and the 
succeeding years, I delivered several courses of lectures and 
prepared a Greek grammar and Greek classbook. I delivered 
two courses of lectures on Antiquities in Boston in the winters 
of 1822 and 1823. 

In the summer of 1821 I made a journey to Niagara, Mont- 
real, and Quebec. In the course of 1822 I received from Koray 
at Paris the address of the Messenian Senate of Calamata to 
the people of the United States, invoking their sympathy in 
the Revolution. It excited little or no sensation at the time. 
In October 1823 I wrote an article on the Greek Revolution 
in the N. A. Review. A very considerable interest in the sub- 
ject appeared not long after ; and the following winter Mr. 
Webster made his admirable appeal on behalf of the Greeks 
to Congress. 

[A question having arisen at this time as to the claim of the 
resident instructors of Harvard College to be represented on the 
Corporation, it was argued before the General Court, to which 
Mr. Everett presented the side of himself and his colleagues, 
gaining considerable credit, although unsuccessful in his plea.j 

I was appointed the following summer (1824) to deliver an 
oration before the Phi Beta Kappa Society at their anniver- 
sary. The attendance of General Lafayette gave great eclat 
to the occasion. About the same time, the representative of 
Middlesex district in Congress declined a re-election, and I was 
nominated to succeed him, by a volunteer convention, princi- 
pally of the young men, and in opposition to the regularly 
nominated candidate. This call was wholly unexpected to me. 
I addressed a letter to the President of the University enquir- 
ing of him, whether my holding a seat in Congress would be 
deemed inconsistent with my relation to the University. He 
thought it would not ; Mr. Adams had been a Senator of the 
United States while holding the office of a professor. 

I was elected by a pretty large majority on the 1st Monday of 
November 1824. A few months afterwards the Corporation 
deemed my professorship vacated, in consequence of my ac- 
cepting a seat in Congress, such being the provisions of an old 


law of the College, with the existence of which I had no ac- 
quaintance, as it was not contained in the edition then cur- 
rent. A separation from the College was not contemplated by 
me, when I accepted a nomination to Congress, but it took 
place amicably ; I paid to the College treasurer the sum of 
five thousand dollars, the balance of funds advanced me in 
Europe, partly as a gift and partly as a loan, and afterward all 
converted into a gift; and very shortly afterwards, I was 
elected a member of the board of Overseers. 

In December 1824 I delivered an oration at Plymouth com- 
memorating the landing of the Pilgrims. On the 19th of 
April 1825 I delivered an address at Concord, on the fiftieth 
anniversary of the commencement of the Revolution. In the 
month of June 1825 I attended as a member of the board of 
visitors the examination of the United States Military Acad- 
emy at West Point. I was requested by the board to act as 
their Secretary, and to deliver an address to the Cadets at the 
close of the examination. 

In December 1825 I went to Washington as a member of 
the nineteenth Congress. I served upon the Committee of 
Foreign Affairs, and that of the Library and Public Buildings. 
I drew the report of the Committee, on the subject of the 
Panama mission ; Mr. Forsyth, the chairman of the Commit- 
tee, being opposed to the measure. I also made reports to the 
house, on the subject of our claims for spoliations on foreign 
powers. On this subject I wrote in this and the preceding 
years several articles in the N. A. Review, which have been 
since collected into a larger pamphlet. 

In the summer of 1826 I delivered an oration at Cambridge 
on the 4th of July, and very soon afterwards an address at 
Charlestown on the death of Adams and Jefferson. In June 
1.826 I took up my residence at Winter Hill in Charlestown. 
In the fall I was re-elected to Congress. 

At the second session of the nineteenth Congress (1826- 
1827) I served on the same Committees as before, and was 
chairman of the select Committee on the affairs of the In- 
dians in Georgia. In the spring of this year, I wrote a series 
of letters addressed to Mr. Canning, on the subject of the 
Colonial trade, which were extensively republished. In the 
fall of the year I delivered the address at the opening of 
the Mechanics' Institute, in Boston. 


At the first session of the twentieth Congress (1827-1828) 
the friends of General Jackson were in the majority. Mr. 
Stevenson was chosen by them speaker. I was placed by him 
at the head of the Committee of Foreign Affairs as a political 
friend of the Secretary of State. I served as formerly on the 
Committees of the Library and Public Buildings. I drew all 
the reports made from these three Committees. At this ses- 
sion of Congress, the famous Retrenchment debate arose. Mr. 
Sergeant and myself were the minority of the Retrenchment 
Committee. Mr. S. was confined to his room several weeks, 
and I acted alone on that Committee. The report of the 
minority was the joint production of Mr. Sergeant and myself. 
That portion which related to the departments of State, War, 
and the Indians was prepared by me. In the summer of this 
year, I delivered an oration at Charlestown on the 4th of 
July, and an address on the erection of a monument to Har- 
vard. This work was undertaken at my suggestion. I was 
re-elected to Congress in the fall of the year. 

At the second session of the twentieth Congress (1828- 
1829), I served on the same committees as before ; and on a 
committee in favor of the heirs of Fulton, of which Gen. Van 
Rensselaer was chairman. At his request, I drew the report. 
On the 4th of March this year, Gen. Jackson was inaugurated 
as President. During the four years of Mr. Adams's admin- 
istration, I was on a very confidential footing with him, and 
possessed the friendship of all his Cabinet ; but I never asked 
a favor for myself, for any relative, or any family friend. 

At the close of the session, after taking my family home, 
I made a very agreeable journey to the West and South. I 
took the route of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and down the 
Ohio and Mississippi to New Orleans. Returning, I came 
up the Mississippi river, as far as the Cumberland, which I 
ascended to Eddyville. Thence by land to Nashville, Louis- 
ville, Lexington, Cincinnati, and Dayton, and thence due East 
to Baltimore. I was treated with great kindness, wherever I 
went, and formed a highly favorable opinion both of the pres- 
ent state and the prospects of that part of the country. 

In the fall of this year (1829) I delivered three lectures on 
Architecture, before the Mechanics' Association, and the open- 
ing address before the Middlesex County Lyceum, of which 
institution I was elected President. 


At the first session of the twenty-first Congress (1829- 
1830) I served on my former Committees ; but was removed 
from the head of the Foreign Affairs, on the ground that the 
chairman of that Committee ought to be a political friend of 
the Secretary of State. I served this winter on the select 
Committee in favor of the Colonization Society, having been 
placed upon it at the request of its chairman, Gen. Mercer. 
Early this session, I delivered an address before the Colum- 
bian Institute, in the hall of the House of Representatives. 

On the 28th of June I delivered an address, before the 
Charlestown Lyceum, on the landing of Gov. Winthrop, and 
on the 5th of July an oration at Lowell. A few weeks ago 
I drafted an address on behalf of the Directors of the Bun- 
ker Hill Monument Association. Of this association I was one 
of the original members. I served two or three years as Sec- 
retary and devoted much time and labor to its objects. 

While in Europe on the visit to Weimar, my fellow traveller 
and myself received the compliment of a diploma of member- 
ship of the Geological Society of that place. I received the 
degree of Doctor of Philosophy, on leaving Gottingen. I was 
elected, while abroad, a member of the American Antiquarian 
Society ; and shortly after my return, a member of the Ameri- 
can Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Historical Society. 1 
In 1824 I was elected a member of the Columbian Institute. 
A few years ago the Geographical Society at Paris chose me a 
corresponding member. Last year I was elected an honorary 
member of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics' Associa- 
tion. This year I have been elected a member of the French 
Society of Universal Statistics, and of the Historical Society 
of Michigan. 

Besides the addresses enumerated above, there are in print 
several speeches made by me on different occasions, among 
others on the Amendment of the Constitution ; on the Revo- 
lutionary Officers and Soldiers; on Retrenchment; on the 
Indian Question ; on Manufactures. 

I married in 1822, and have four children, all of whom are 
blessed with health. 

Such are the principal incidents of my life, verifying the 
remark with which I started, that they are important to no 

1 Mr. Everett was elected a member of the Historical Society at the Annual 
Meeting, April 27, 1820. 



one but myself. I have had a mixture of prosperity and 
adversity, of enjoyment and trial. My personal affairs have 
been prosperous, but I have suffered from the embarrassments 
of others. I have had many friends and some enemies. To 
no one of my enemies did I ever knowingly do an injury, 
with or without provocation. I have received commendation 
and abuse, both beyond my desert : — to the latter I have 
never replied. I have all my life been a hard-working man ; 
and to this, and a temper naturally cheerful, and a good con- 
science, I am indebted for the share of prosperity and happi- 
ness, under Providence, which I have enjoyed. 
Charlestown, 28th Sept., 1830. 

[To connect this fragment of autobiography with a later 
one, a page is here inserted from a notice of Mr. Everett, pre- 
pared by his friend, Joseph E Sprague, and inserted in the 
" New England Magazine," vol. v. pp. 185-197. 

At the next session of Congress, on presenting some peti- 
tions, he gave a complete review of the points in which the 
rights of the Indians had been invaded by Georgia. 

In the spring of 1831, he delivered a lecture before the 
Salem Lyceum on the subject of Reform, then agitated in 
England. This was afterwards enlarged, and published, in the 
form of a review, in the North American Review. It attracted 
great attention here, and passed rapidly through three editions 
in London ; it was cited (as a text) by both parties in Parlia- 
ment ; and few, if any, articles from a foreign source, ever 
attracted so much attention. The next year, he further treated 
on this subject in the same Review. The past and passing 
events in England have stamped his views on this subject as 
prophetic, sound in principle, and profoundly imbued with a 
knowledge of the subject. 

Mr. Everett had for several years been President of the Phi 
Beta Kappa Society. The mysterious name, oaths, and in- 
junctions of secrecy, hieroglyphical characters, grips, medals, 
and ribbons, appeared to him so exceedingly useless, that, at 
his instance, a special meeting was called, at which the secret 
character of the society was changed, and the door of mystery 

In October, 1831, he delivered the annual address before the 
American Institute at New York. In this address he proved 


that the great inducement to the adoption of our Constitution 
was the prospect it held out of protection to manufactures. 

At the first session of the twenty-first Congress, lie prepared 
the minority report on the apportionment bill, in which he 
sustained Mr. Webster's amendment. This he also advocated 
in a speech delivered on the passage of that bill. At the same 
session, he made a most elaborate speech on the tariff, in which 
lie demonstrated, from a laborious examination of the results 
of the census, that the Southern States were not injured by 
the tariff, and in which he showed the absurdity of the doctrine 
that the producer and not the consumer pays the duty. 

He also prepared the address of the National Republican Con- 
vention, which met at Worcester in October last. And in his 
speech before his townsmen in Charlestown, at the subsequent 
election in November, he stated, that, if, in the impending 
crisis of the country, President Jackson should plant himself 
on the bulwarks of the Constitution, he Would receive a 
warmer support from his opponents than from a large class of 
his friends. This prediction, which has been so signally veri- 
fied, was expressed by him in still stronger terms, many months 
previous, in his letters to his friends.] 

Watertown, 14 Sept., 1838. 

My dear Friend, — Our friend Sprague in his biographical 
sketch brings down his narrative to the summer of 1833. 

That season I delivered an oration before the Phi Beta 
Kappa Society at Yale College, and received from the govern- 
ment of the institution, at the same commencement, the compli- 
ment of an LL.D. I delivered a temperance address the 
same summer at Salem, and the annual discourse before 
the Agricultural Society at Brighton. This was the season 
of Gen. Jackson's tour. It devolved upon me, by request of 
the citizens of Charlestown without distinction of party, to 
make the address to him on Bunker Hill. His reply was the 
longest and best of the answers made by him on his journey. 

The succeeding session of Congress is commonly known as 
the panic session. I composed with Gov. Ellsworth of Con- 
necticut the minority of the Committee, which was despatched 
to Philadelphia to examine the Bank of the United States : 
and the minority report of the Committee was written by me. 

In September 1834 I delivered the eulogy on Lafayette, at 
the request of the young men of Boston. The following session 


was the last of my membership. It was a session made in- 
tensely interesting by the critical condition of our relations 
with France. I made two speeches on that subject, and wrote 
the minority report of the Committee of Foreign Relations, in 
which I presented a condensed historical view of the whole 
controversy. A resolution was passed by the unanimous vote 
of the house consisting of a sentence detached from the close 
of that report. I also reported an argument on the old 
French claims for spoliations prior to 1800, which was printed 
by order of the House. It contained a sketch of the history 
of that controversy. 

I had in the summer of 1831 announced my wish not to be 
considered a candidate for re-election to Congress, and to resign 
my seat for the remainder of the term. I was induced, by the 
urgent representations of my friends, to withdraw this resigna- 
tion. The Antimasonic controversy was then at its height, and 
I was strongly urged to accept the nomination of the Anti- 
masonic party as Governor. This I steadily declined ; and 
some resolutions having passed the Antimasonic convention of 
Middlesex County in which a wish was plainly intimated that I 
would become the Antimasonic candidate as Governor, I wrote 
a long letter to the Committee of the Convention expressly 
declining, and strongly urging the support of Gov. Davis. I 
uniformly stated that I should not become a candidate, unless 
assured of the support of my political friends in general as 
well as of the A nti masons. 

On Gov. Davis's election to the Senate of the U. S. in the 
winter of 1835, I was nominated as his successor by an Anti- 
masonic Convention and two days after by a Whig Convention. 
It was perfectly well understood by the former, that I stood 
on principles on which I could receive the support of the 
latter. In the course of the summer of 1835, I delivered an 
oration at Lexington on the sixtieth anniversary of the battle. 
In this oration, and in that at Worcester on the 4th of July 
1833, I brought into greater prominence than had before been 
given them the events of the war of 1756 as a preparation 
for the revolution. On the 4th of July 1835 I delivered an 
oration before the citizens of Beverly without distinction 
of party, on the early life of Washington. In this discourse, I 
embodied most of the new matter contained on this subject in 
Mr. Sparks's edition of the writings of Washington. I deliv- 


ered the address before the literary societies of Amherst 
College at Commencement this summer ; and an oration at 
Bloody Brook, on the anniversary of the fall of u the Flower 
of Essex," in 1676. I hastened home from the latter place, to 
attend a meeting at Faneuil Hall, (by request of the commit- 
tee of arrangements), on the subject of the Western Rail- 
Road, when I made the closing speech. It is contained in my 
volume, as well as the others delivered this year. 

In Nov. 1835 I was chosen Governor by a majority of about 
10,000. The Antimasonic party generally supported me. Its 
leaders, however, had already determined, if possible, to carry 
over the part)' to the support of the national administration, 
whose candidate for Lieutenant Governor they supported. This 
state of things created jealousies and embarrassments. I 
lost the support of some Masonic Whigs and of some Jackson 
An ti masons. 

My object was the same which Mr. Adams announced as 
his own, in the address to the People, in which he withdrew 
himself from being one of the three highest candidates before 
the Legislature : viz. to reunite the Antimasons and Whigs on 
honorable terms. It was the object of the leaders of the 
Antimasons to transfer their party to Mr. Van Buren. On 
this point, early in my administration, we broke, and the 
aforesaid leaders became my bitterest foes. They became at 
the same time, (as fast as any regard to appearances would 
permit), unscrupulous supporters of the administration of the 
General Government and of Mr. Van Buren. 

Of the subjects recommended by me to the attention of the 
Legislature several received their favorable consideration. 
They appointed a Board of Commissioners to inquire into the 
practicability and expediency of reducing the Common Law to a 
uniform and systematic code. The House of Representatives 
passed an act abolishing capital punishment in certain cases, 
which however was lost in the Senate. The Legislature 
authorized a subscription of one million dollars' to the stock 
of the Western Rail-Road, a measure which I had greatly at 
heart. They offered a bounty on improved principles on the 
culture of silk. They made an appropriation for preserving 
the papers in the public archives, and passed joint resolutions 
on several subjects in pursuance of the recommendations of 
the Message. 


I made it a principal object of my attention, to serve the 
militia, and for this purpose attended several of the brigade 
reviews in the neighborhood and on Connecticut River. I 
also was present at several military festivals, beginning with the 
Ancient and Honorable Artillery, in June. On these various 
occasions, I made addresses on the importance of the militia, 
particularly for the support of the law in time of peace. I 
attended the Centennial Celebration at Springfield in May 
and that at Dedham in September. My ancestor Richard 
Everett was a grantee of both towns. I made a visit to New 
Bedford and Nantucket: at the former place there was a meet- 
ing on the subject of the Bunker Hill Monument, at which I 
made a speech. I was present at the exhibition of the Essex 
County Agricultural Society at Danvers and by desire of the 
Committee made a short address. The most interesting public 
occasion this year was the Centennial Celebration at Cam- 
bridge, at which, on a very short notice, I presided. I made 
several speeches this season, in addition to those here men- 
tioned at military and other festivals. 

The Antimasonic party in Massachusetts, though ostensibly 
kept up by the Van Buren leaders in that party, was in reality 
dissolved. The votes were divided between the two political 
parties, and I was in consequence re-elected by a majority 
diminished by three or four thousand votes. 

At the ensuing session a definite Commission was appointed 
to reduce the criminal law to a code ; a Board of Education 
established; a revised Geological Survey ordered, and other 
measures proposed by me instituted or carried on ; among them 
may be mentioned the erection of a chapel at the State Lunatic 
Asylum at Worcester. It was my wish that a considerable 
portion of the surplus revenue [received from the National 
Treasury] should be devoted to Education, but on this subject 
other views prevailed. At the close of this session I negatived 
a resolution by which the two houses raised their own com- 
pensation. It passed by acclamation without my signature ; 
but I was fully sustained by the people. [This was the solitary 
exercise of the veto power by Mr. Everett while Governor.] 

The National Lancers, a fine troop of horse, was raised this 
summer. The first suggestion of this company was made by 
me, and on their appearance at Commencement this year, 
agreeably to an intimation made when I first advised the rais- 
ing of the company, I presented them a standard. 


In the course of the summer I attended the usual round of 
military and festive occasions. I attended the Commence- 
ment at Williams College, and delivered an address by invita- 
tion of the literary Societies there. I also delivered an address 
at the Mechanics fair. 

These two addresses were repeated by me in several places 
as introductory lectures to Lyceums. I also wrote and deliv- 
ered an introductory lecture before the Society for the Diffu- 
sion of Useful Knowledge on the History and Composition of 
the English Language, and before the Historical Society on 
the Discovery of America by the Northmen. 

In the course of the autumn we had visits from the Sacs and 
Foxes and other tribes of Indians. We gave the first deputa- 
tion under Keokuk (of which the famous Black-Hawk was a 
member) a public reception. 

I was re-elected by a majority of 17 or 18,000 — the largest 
majority ever given in Massachusetts at a contested election. 
The principal business of the session was the discussion of the 
Bank question. The measure of appointing Bank Commis- 
sioners proposed by me was adopted. One of the first measures 
adopted by the Legislature was to reduce the rate of com- 
pensation of the members of the two Houses to its former 

Nothing of importance to be noted has occurred to me this 
summer, during which I have been rusticating at Watertown. 
I attended the School Convention of Dukes County at Mar- 
tha's Vineyard and the Abbot festival at Exeter. I delivered 
the address at the eighteenth anniversary of the Mercantile 
Library Association last evening, and am to attend the School 
Convention at Taunton on the 10th of October. 

In my official capacity, I have endeavored to promote reform 
in the law: — to encourage internal improvement and the de- 
velopment of the physical energies of the State : — to elevate 
the standard and advance the cause of Education : — to revive 
the militia: and arrest the progress of disorder in the ar- 
chives and place them in a condition to be easily consulted : 
and to contribute to the unfolding of the natural wealth of the 
Commonwealth and its agricultural resources. Laws and re- 
solves relative to all these interests have passed, more or less 
under the influence I have been able in various ways to exert ; 
though I have at all times been willing to keep my own agency 


out of view; and, of course, have no claim but that of joint 
action with liberal and patriotic members of the Legislature. 

It has, at the same time, been my study to assume as little 
as possible the outward circumstance and display of office, and 
to pass undistinguished as a citizen, wherever it was possible 
with propriety to do so. 

I have endeavored, both in m3 r present and former official 
station, not to let political life entirely draw me away from 
literary pursuits. Of my literary efforts since I came into 
Congress I am well aware too little cannot well be said, but I 
have given to them all the time I could possibly spare. I will 
in a day or two send you a memorandum of my articles in the 
North American Review written in this period. 

The above with all my other communications on this subject 
is commended to your friendly and confidential eye by 

Yours ever affectionately, 

E. E. 

Mr. Everett terminates his fragment of autobiography in 
the year 1838. In the following year the international com- 
plications of the North-Eastern Boundary led to his addressing 
a strong appeal to President Van Buren as to the defenceless 
condition of Boston Harbor, in case of war, followed by a vig- 
orous vote of the Legislature passed at his instance. In the 
month of September he delivered one of his most successful 
occasional speeches, at the Cape Cod festival at Barnstable. 

In November the forces opposed to his re-election as Gov- 
ernor rallied on the ground of opposition to a licence law passed 
by the Legislature of 1838, and signed by him as Governor, 
though with considerable reluctance, restricting the sale of 
liquor. There was then required for popular election an ab- 
solute majority of all the votes. This Hon. Marcus Morton 
received by one vote in 100,000. In the winter, Mr. Everett 
delivered a memorial address on John Lowell, jr., the founder of 
the Lowell Institute, as introductory to the Lowell Lectures. 

In June 1840 he sailed in the ship "Iowa" from New York 
with his family for a protracted residence in Europe, landing 
at Havre. After some short stay in Paris they departed 
through Fontainebleau, Chalons, and Lyons to Avignon, where 
they were detained by the sickness of one member, but forced 
to leave the city in about a fortnight in a boat, the floods of 


the Durance having filled the streets and the courtyard of 
their hotel. Passing down the Rhone to Marseilles, they 
went by steamer to Leghorn, and through Pisa to Florence, 
where they passed the ensuing winter and summer, the latter 
at the Villa Careggi, the actual house where Lorenzo de' 
Medici died in 1492. Mr. Everett found his stay in Florence 
eminently congenial. He made several agreeable acquaint- 
ances, and received special kindness from the Grand Duke 
Leopold, under whose auspices an assembly of Italian Scien- 
ziati was gathered this year. A most admirable bust of him 
was executed by Hiram Powers, whom Mr. Everett always 
held to be the first of American sculptors. 

Mr. Webster having come to the office of Secretary of State 
in 1841, Mr. Everett received a commission as Envoy Ex- 
traordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to London. It was 
feared this nomination might fail of confirmation in the Sen- 
ate, certain Southern Senators having expressed their oppo- 
sition to Mr. Everett as an " abolitionist," owing to some 
opinions he had expressed as Governor, particularly one re- 
lating to the right of Congress to abolish slavery in the Dis- 
trict of Columbia. It was however confirmed by a handsome 
vote, Messrs. Henry Clay and Rufus Choate being especially 
conspicuous in its support. 

On receiving news of his appointment, Mr. Everett made 
hasty visits to Naples and Rome, and returning rapidly 
through France, arrived in London in December 1841. Sir 
Robert Peel's government had just come into power, which 
the conservatives retained throughout Mr. Everett's mission. 
His relations with all its members were extremely friendly, 
especially witli the Earl of Aberdeen, the Foreign Secretary, 
in whose wisdom and good will Mr. Everett had the utmost 
confidence. The serious questions then agitated between the 
two countries on the right of search, the North-Eastern and 
North-Western Boundaries, the seizure of the " Creole," and 
many others, demanded the utmost tact on the part of our 
minister, and Mr. Everett had the satisfaction of maintaining 
the most friendly relations with the English government. 
That government having determined to settle the North-East- 
ern Boundary and some other questions by their special envoy 
Lord Ashburton, Mr. Everett was not without hopes that the 
North- Western would be entrusted to himself ; but the peculiar 



position of Mr. Webster in Mr. Tyler's cabinet made this per- 
haps impossible. When it was decided to send a commis- 
sion to China, Mr. Everett was offered the position, it being 
generally supposed that Mr. Webster was desirous of going as 
Minister to England ; but the Chinese appointment was de- 
clined. A reply made by him to a representation of English- 
men who had suffered from the repudiation of Pennsylvania 
and other States was received with great satisfaction, as also 
were certain addresses delivered in the early part of his mis- 
sion ; but invidious comments at home, and the very unsettled 
state of our politics, led to his ceasing to speak on public 
occasions or even to attend them. He received the degrees 
of LL.D. from Dublin and Cambridge Universities, and of 
D.C.L. from Oxford University. On the latter occasion an 
absurd protest was made by Dr. Sewell and other Tractarian 
clergymen, on the ground, that Mr. Everett had been a Unita- 
rian minister. This was making vastly more account of his 
denominational connections than he ever made himself. His 
private associations with various distinguished men and women 
in England were a source of great satisfaction ; among these 
may be especially named the Dukes of Wellington and North- 
umberland, Lord Brougham, Rt. Hon. J. E. Denison, and Rev. 
William Whewell. 

President Polk being elected in 1814, Mr. Everett was re- 
called in the summer of 1845, and returned to Boston in 
September. He was almost immediately offered the Presi- 
dency of Harvard College, vacant by the resignation of Hon. 
Josiah Quincy. He accepted the post with great misgiving, 
and against the advice of some of his oldest and closest 
friends. The result proved that they were right. The place 
was one of almost unmitigated drudgery and anxiety, opposi- 
tion to his most cherished views rising up in quarters where 
he had been led to expect cordial co-operation, and the details 
of office work leaving no time for the literary and social influ- 
ence he had been expected to exert. Several important events 
in the history of the College occurred during his short term of 
service ; the establishment of the Lawrence Scientific School ; 
the reception of the great Fraunhofer Equatorial ; the intro- 
duction to college work of the matured enthusiasm of Airassiz 
and the youthful genius of Child; and unquestionably the 
whole tone of discipline and scholarship was raised. But three 


years of confinement and disappointment told very seriously 
on Mr. Everett's body and spirits, and he was forced to resign 
his position in February 1849. 

He remained in comparatively private life till late in 1852, 
appearing in public on a few occasions, notably the seventy- 
fifth year celebration of the battle of Bunker Hill, when he ad- 
dressed an immense audience in one of the ship houses at the 
Charlestown Navy Yard. In October 1852 the lamented death 
of Mr. Daniel Webster called him to Washington as Secretary 
of State in Mr. Fillmore's Cabinet. In this office he greatly 
signalized himself by a letter addressed to Lord John Russell 
on the subject of the acquisition of Cuba. A somewhat flippant 
and supercilious answer from the Englishman drew out a srill 
more trenchant reply from Mr. Everett, after his cabinet ser- 
vice was ended. In February 1853 he was elected by the 
Legislature of Massachusetts to the Senate of the United 
States, to succeed the Hon. John Davis. During his first year 
of service the act to organize the territories of Nebraska and 
Kansas and repeal the Missouri Compromise was introduced 
into the Senate. Mr. Everett argued strongly against it both 
in the Committee on Territories and on the floor of the Sen- 
ate ; but through a misinformation as to the time of taking the 
vote, he was absent, and his vote was refused a record the next 
day, though the result would have been unchanged. 

His health had again suffered very seriously by this return 
to political life, and his family earnestly needing his presence 
in Boston, he resigned his seat after about one year's service. 
For several months he rarely addressed his fellow citizens; 
but on the Fourth of July 1855 he spoke in his native town 
of Dorchester with a vigor and spirit beyond what he had 
achieved for many years. 

Finding his earlier energies thus completely restored, he 
resumed the practice of public speaking, and delivered in the 
next five years many notable addresses, of which his favorite 
was that on Astronomy at the Dedication of the Dudley Ob- 
servatory at Albany in 1857. In February 1856 he delivered 
an address on the Character of Washington, at the request of 
the Mercantile Library Association of Boston. He made ar- 
rangements for its repetition in various cities, when, Miss 
Cunningham's plan for the purchase of Mount Vernon being 
started, Mr. Everett determined to devote any further pro- 


ceeds of his Washington address to that object, and he deliv- 
ered it more than one hundred and twenty times, in all sections 
of the Union, adding more than $ 60,000 to the fund. He also 
received a check for §10,000 from Robert Bonner, the propri- 
etor of the " New York Ledger," for a weekly article throughout 
the year, the money to be given to the Mount Vernon Fund. 

In all these later years Mr. Everett had been deeply anxious 
as to the state of the country. He had voted the Whig ticket 
as long as the Whig party existed. In 1856 he refused to 
follow many of his old Whig friends into either the new 
Republican or the old Democratic parties, and voted for Mr. 
Fillmore. In 1860 he accepted with extreme reluctance a 
place on the Constitutional Union ticket as nominee for Vice- 
President, with Hon. John Bell for President. This ticket 
carried the States of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and 
would probably have carried other Southern States but for the 
stories of Mr. Everett's " abolitionism," promulgated at the 
very time when he was attacked at the North for lukewarm- 
ness on the subject of slavery. 

When the storm of secession broke out, Mr. Everett exer- 
cised his utmost efforts to restore and preserve the Union. 
He was a member of the Peace Committee which met at 
Washington in the winter of 1860-1861. But when Fort Sum- 
ter was fired on he immediately threw himself heart and soul 
into the cause of the war for the Union. His exertions during 
the next four years in rallying the people of the North to the 
national cause wero unremitting and very various. An address 
delivered by him in the Academy of Music at New York on 
the Fourth of July 1861, is prefixed as an introduction to 
Frank Moore's Rebellion Record. An address on the Causes 
and Conduct of the War was delivered by him in all the prin- 
cipal cities of the North to large audiences. He also gave the 
main address at the Dedication of the Gettysburg Cemetery, 
when Mr. Lincoln made his memorable speech. But perhaps 
his most remarkable service was the raising by his own per- 
sonal appeals of a fund of $100,000 in Boston and the neigh- 
borhood for the sufferers in East Tennessee. 

Some time before the war he had bought a beautiful estate 
in Winchester, Mass., on the northwest border of Mystic 
Pond, where he built a house for his eldest son, with an idea 
of erecting another for himself. But very soon after his pur- 


chase the city of Charlestown applied to the Legislature for 
permission to convert the upper Mystic Lake into a reservoir, 
and overflow a large part of Mr. Everett's estate. He resisted 
the measure before the committee of the Legislature, as an 
improper and useless scheme, which subsequent events have 
proved to be a perfectly correct view. He also conducted his 
own case for damages before a board of referees, a work adding 
greatly to the care and distress of his later years. 

During the war Mr. Everett had kept entirely out of party 
politics, supporting the government of Mr. Lincoln on grounds 
of non-partisan patriotism. He was offered and declined in 
1862 a Republican nomination to Congress. In 1861 lie con- 
sented to be nominated as Elector at Large on the Lincoln 
and Johnson ticket, and presided at the meeting of the Elec- 
toral College in the beginning of 1865. Very soon after, the 
news of the distress of the captured city of Savannah called him 
out to a meeting in Faneuil Hall, to inaugurate measures for 
its relief. On that same day, though under a severe chill, he 
had made the final argument before the arbiters of his estate. 

On his return home he retired to bed with a very heavy 
cold on Monday, 9 January. In the course of the week he 
appeared to be recovering, and on the night of Saturday the 
11th was sleeping peacefully. In the early morning he ap- 
pears to have risen from his bed, was struck with apoplexy, 
and died at 4.30 A.M. Sunday, 15 Januaiy 1865. His death 
was received with universal and acute expressions of regret 
throughout the Union. He is buried at Mount Auburn. 

Mr. Everett was married, 8 May, 1822, to Charlotte Gray, 
daughter of Hon. Peter Chardon Brooks. She was born 4 
November, 1800, and died 2 July, 1859. They had seven chil- 
dren, of whom four outlived youth, and three were living at 
Mr. Everett's decease : Charlotte Brooks, born 13 August, 
1825, died in Washington, D. C, 12 October, 1879, the widow 
of Commodore Henry A. Wise, U. S. N., chief of the Navy 
Ordnance Bureau; Edward Brooks Everett, M.D., 6 May, 
1830-9 November, 1861 (H. C. 1850) ; Henry Sidney Everett, 
31 December, 1834-4 October, 1898 (H. C. 1855), in the 
diplomatic service of the United States; and William, 10 
October, 1839 (H. C. 1859). Of these the three elder ones 
were married and have left children. 



The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 14th instant, 
at three o'clock, p. M ; the President in the chair. 

After the reading of the record of the last meeting and of 
the list of donors to the Library, the President stated that in 
pursuance of the vote passed at the December meeting of the 
Society a Memorial had been drawn up and presented to Con- 
gress, asking that the necessary measures be taken for preserv- 
ing the frigate Constitution, which is in a dangerous condition 
of decay. The Memorial is as follows : — 

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States : — 

Your Memorialists, the Council of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society, acting under its instructions, would respectfully call the at- 
tention of your Honorable Bodies to certain facts connected with the 
United States frigate Constitution : — 

That vessel is now lying at Charlestown, Massachusetts, in a dock 
also used by the steamships of the so-called White Star Line ; she 
is dismantled, out of repair, and liable at any time to injury from 
carelessness or accident, if not to destruction. Your Memorialists 
further represent that in the American mind an historical interest 
attaches to the Constitution such as attaches to no other ship in 
maritime annals, except possibly the Santa Maria, the flag-ship of 
Columbus, and the Mayflower, both of which disappeared centu- 
ries ago. The Constitution still remains ; and it was the Consti- 
tution which, in the gloomiest hour of the War of 1812-14, appeared 
"like a bright gleam in the darkness." On the 16th of August 
of that year, Detroit, with all its garrisons, munitions, and de- 
fences, was surrendered to the British forces; on the same clay 
Fort Dearborn, at what is now Chicago, was in flames, and with it 
" the last vestige of American authority on the Western lakes disap- 
peared." The discouragement was universal and the sense of national 
humiliation extreme ; for it seemed doubtful if even the interior line of 
the Wabash could be successfully held against an enemy flushed with 
success. The prophet of yet other disasters immediately impending 
was abroad, and, according to his wont, further depressed the already 


disheartened land. It was in this hour of deepest gloom, that, on the 
morning of Sunday, August 30, the Sabbath silence of Boston was 
broken and the town stirred to unwonted excitement " as the news 
passed through the quiet streets that the ' Constitution' was below, 
in the outer harbor, with Dacres, " of the Guerriere, "and his crew 
prisoners on board." Thus it so chanced that the journal which, the 
next morning, informed Bostoniaus of the Detroit humiliation, in 
another column of the same issue announced that naval action which 
" however small the affair might appear on the general scale of the 
world's battles, raised the United States in one half hour to the rank of 
a first-class power in the world." The jealousy of the navy which had 
until then characterized the more recent national policy vanished for- 
ever u in the flash of Hull's first broadside." The victory, moreover, 
was most dramatic — a naval duel. The adversaries — not only com- 
manders but ship's companies to a man — had sought each other out for 
a test of seamanship, discipline, and gunnery — arrogance and the con- 
fidence of prestige on the one side, a passionate sense of wrong on the 
other. They met in mid- Atlantic, — frigate to frigate. It was on the 
afternoon of August 19, the wind blowing fresh, the sea running high. 
For about an hour the two ships manoeuvred for position, but at last, 
a few minutes before six o'clock, " they came together side-by-side, 
within pistol-shot, the wind almost astern, and running before it they 
pounded each other with all their strength. As rapidly as the guns 
could be worked, the ' Constitution ' poured in broadside after broad- 
side, double-shotted with round and grape, — and, without exaggera- 
tion, the echo of those guns startled the world." Of her first broadside 
in that action, the master of an American brig, then a captive on board 
the British ship, afterwards wrote : " About six o'clock I heard a tre- 
mendous explosion from the opposing frigate. The effect of her shot 
seemed to make the ' Guerriere ' reel, and tremble as though she had 
received the shock of an earthquake." " In less than thirty minutes 
from the time we got alongside of the enemy," reported Captain Hull 
to the Secretary of the Navy, " she was left without a spar standing, 
and the hull cut to pieces in such a manner as to make it difficult 
to keep her above water." 

The historian has truly said of that conflict, — " Isaac Hull was 
nephew to the unhappy General [who, three days before the Con- 
stitution overcame the Guerriere, had capitulated at Detroit], and 
perhaps the shattered hulk of the ' Guerriere,' which the nephew left 
at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, eight hundred miles East of 
Boston, was worth for the moment the whole province which the 
uncle had lost, eight hundred miles to the Westward. ... No ex- 
perience of history ever went to the heart of New England more 
directly than this victory, so peculiarly its own ; but the delight was 


not confined to New England, and extreme though it seemed it was 
still not extravagant." 

Therefore it is that the Massachusetts Historical Society, already, 
in 1812, an organization more than twenty years in existence, now 
directs this Memorial to be submitted, — she, the oldest among them, 
speaking through her Council for all other similar Societies throughout 
New England. In so doing it is needless to enter into the earlier and 
later history of what was essentially the " Fighting Frigate " of the 
first American Navy ; for, in the memory of the people of the United 
States, the Constitution is, throughout her long record, inseparably 
associated with feats of daring and seamanship, — devotion and dash, — 
than which none in all naval history are more skilful, more stirring, or 
more deserving of commemoration. How can they be so effectively 
commemorated as by the pious and lasting preservation of the ancient 
ship, now slowly rotting at the wharf opposite to which she was 
launched six years more than a century ago ? 

And while the name of the Constitution is thus not only synony- 
mous with courage, seamanship, patriotism, and unbroken triumph, the 
ship herself is typical of a maritime architecture as extinct as the 
galley or the trireme. She slid from the ways at what is still known 
in her honor as " Constitution Wharf" in Boston harbor ten months 
before Nelson won the Battle of the Nile, and eight years to a day 
before his famous flag-ship, the Victory, bore his broad pennant 
in triumph through the Franco-Spanish line off Trafalgar ; and your 
Memorialists hold that, in the eyes and minds of the people of the 
United States, no less an interest and sentiment attach to the Con- 
stitution than in Great Britain attach to the Victory. The Consti- 
tution in the days of our deep tribulation did more for us than ever 
even the flagship of Nelson did for England ; and, thenceforth, she has 
been to Americans as a sentient being, to whom gratitude is due. 

Yet by Great Britain the Victory ever has been and now is 
tenderly cared for and jealously preserved among the most precious 
of national memorials. As such, it is yearly visited by thousands, 
among whom Americans are not least in number. The same care 
has not been extended over the Constitution ; and yet your Me- 
morialists would not for a moment suggest, nor do they believe, that 
the people, the Parliament, or the government of Great Britain are 
more grateful, more patriotic, or endowed with a keener sense of pride 
than the people, the Congress, or the Administration of the United 
States. As for the people, the contrary is, in case of the Constitu- 
tion, incontrovertibly proven by the names of the thousands of pil- 
grims from all sections of the country annually inscribed on her 
register. So far as the Government is concerned, its failure to take 
measures for the lasting preservation of the old ship has been due, 


in the opinion of your Memorialists, neither to indifference nor to 
an unworthy spirit of thrift, but to the fact that, amid the multifarious 
matters calling for immediate action, the preserving of an old-time 
frigate, even though freighted with glorious memories, has been some- 
what unduly, though not perhaps unnaturally, deferred to a more 
opportune occasion. 

None the less, the Constitution " is the yet living monument, not 
alone of her own victories, but of the men behind the guns who won 
them. She speaks to us of patriotism and courage, of the devotion to 
an idea and to a sentiment for which men laid down their lives." 
Therefore, your Memorialists would respectfully ask that immediate 
provision be made to the end that the course pursued by the British 
Admiralty in the case of the Victory may be pursued oy our Navy 
Department in the case of the Constitution. We accordingly pray 
your Honorable Bodies that the necessary steps forthwith be taken 
for preserving the " Fighting Frigate" of 1812; that she be renewed, 
put in commission as a training ship, and at suitable seasons be in future 
stationed at points along our coast where she may be easily accessible 
to that large and ever-increasing number of American citizens who, 
retaining a sense of affection, as well as deep gratitnde, to her, feel also 
a patriotic and an abiding interest in the associations which the frigate 
Constitution will never cease to recall. 

And your Memorialists will ever pray, &c. 

Charles Francis Adams, President, 

Samuel A. Green, Vice-President, 

Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, Second Vice-President, 

Edward J. Young, Recording Secretary, 

Henry W. Haynes, Corresponding Secretary, 

Charles C. Smith, Treasurer, 

Henry F. Jenks, Cabinet Keeper, 

Andrew McFarland Davis, 

Archibald Cary Coolidge, 

William R. Thayer, 

S. Lothrop Thorndike, 

James F. Hunnewell, 

James De Normandie, 

Members constituting the Council of the Society. 
Boston, December 30, 1903. 

The President then called on Capt. Alfred T. Mahan, 
a Corresponding Member, who spoke as follows : — 

It would doubtless be an exaggeration to speak of the 
combat between the Constitution and the Guerriere as the 



birth of the United States navy, for that would be to ignore 
the notable episodes of the Tripolitan hostilities, and the few 
brilliant engagements of the quasi-war with France in 1798 ; 
but "resurrection" is not too strong a word to characterize 
the effect produced upon the nation by the news that an 
American frigate had captured one of Great Britain, in a 
fight which was believed to be on equal terms. We know 
now that there was a very considerable disparity of material 
force between the two antagonists on that celebrated occa- 
sion ; but we also know that the United States vessel, although 
it was but two months since war was declared, was in a state 
of efficiency, used her guns, and was handled with an ability 
which is the true and final test of military merit. Therefore, 
although the exultation of the nation proceeded in some 
measure on imperfect comprehension, it had a solid founda- 
tion in fact. That the Constitution was superior in force to 
the Guerriere is incidental only, — a matter of relative values; 
but that she did her work with a precision and rapidity which 
showed her fully capable of meeting an equal on equal terms, 
is a condition of positive attainment, in which pride may 
justly be felt. It is the deserving of success, as compared 
with achieving it. 

It is, perhaps, not generally known, or, if known, not appre- 
ciated, how near the United States navy then was to absolute 
extinction by national act. It had been blood-let, starved, 
and emasculated, under the gunboat policy of Jefferson, until 
nothing saved it from complete exhaustion but the spirit and 
tone of its officers. With the exception of a few intelligent 
supporters from the maritime part of the country, — notably, 
of course, New England and New York, — nobody believed 
in it. This, again, was a reflection of Jefferson. In strict 
line of the tradition received from him, it was seriously pro- 
posed to lay the navy up, out of harm's way, when war 
began. Mr. Monroe, in his correspondence recently pub- 
lished, — the last volume has but just been issued, — mentions 
at length the discussion that went on, and the arguments 
on either side. He himself, the Secretary of State, leaned 
to the Jeffersonian idea, if I remember right. I have heard, 
all my life, the naval tradition that only a remonstrance from 
two or three naval captains obtained a reversal of this inten- 
tion ; but it was only the other day I came across this 


chapter and verse confirmation of the report. Within four 
months of the declaration of war, known to be imminent, 
Congress positively and in toto refused to make any addition 
to the navy, which was weaker in material strength than 
when John Adams quitted office, eleven years before. 

It was to such a condition of contemptuous governmental 
neglect, representing, doubtless, general popular apathy, that 
the news of the capture of the Guerriere came, following 
close on the heels of the news of the surrender of Hull 
and his untrained army. The revulsion of popular feeling 
was immediate and lasting. In the list of naval victories 
which every schoolboy knows by heart, the name of the 
Constitution maintains its pre-eminence. She has been the 
idealization of the United States navy; and not even Farra- 
gut's historic flagship, the Hartford, with all her renowned 
achievements, has been able to supplant her in popular im- 
agination. It is no exaggeration to say that her victory over 
the Guerriere was the first throb of a new life which since 
that day has pulsed with vigor ever increasing ; and in direct 
descent from it are to be traced the famous naval names 
of New Orleans, Vicksburg, Port Hudson, Mobile, Manila, 

Mr. Thomas Minns was elected a Resident Member; and 
Mr. Sidney Lee, of London, England, a Corresponding 

Mr. Henry W. Haynes presented, in behalf of the Hon. 
George F. Hoar, a memoir of the late Hon. Horace Gray 
which Mr. Hoar had written for publication in the Pro- 

The President then read parts of the following paper : — 

The Society will remember that, at our October meeting, I 
read a paper 1 wherein I endeavored to precipitate, so to speak, 
some residuum of historical fact from certain personal rem- 
iniscences contained in a speech delivered by the late Abram 
S. Hewitt at a Chamber of Commerce meeting, held in New 
York on the 7th of February, 1901, commemorative of Queen 
Victoria. A close analysis failed to yield any such residuum, 
even the least ; and I found myself compelled to the conclu- 

1 Proceedings, second series, vol. xvii. pp. 439-448. 


sion that the reminiscences in question were, in their essentials, 
purely imagined. In all my previous experience with state- 
ments based wholly on memory, of the same general character 
as those of Mr. Hewitt, this has so very rarely occurred that 
my curiosity was excited. Accordingly, I have since continued 
my investigations. Though I greatly regret it, I find myself 
compelled to say they have resulted in absolutely nothing 
more than a growing conviction that, at some remote period, 
Mr. Hewitt must have dreamed a very vivid dream. During 
his recent visit here Mr. Schurz incidentally told me that the 
story was one Mr. Hewitt was in his later years fond of repeat- 
ing, and that he had himself often heard it before he saw it in 
the report of the Chamber of Commerce meeting. My final 
inference, therefore, is that it was a not unusual case of what 
may fairly enough be described as belief from frequent itera- 
tion. A curious parallel instance of this came to my notice a 
few days ago in the case of an acquaintance of mine, — a man 
not quite sixty. He told me how he had for years been in 
the habit of describing his vivid recollection of being taken 
as a child by his father down to and upon the frozen Boston 
harbor, in that famous winter (1844) when a channel was cut 
through the ice to enable the outward bound Cunard steamer 
to get off on her advertised sailing day. My friend had been 
wont to tell how, with his hand in that of his father, he had 
watched the unusual scene with a childish interest, and still 
remembered distinctly every detail of it. But at last on some 
occasion he chanced to repeat this story in presence of a friend 
slightly older than himself, who at once proceeded to question 
it. My acquaintance simply smiled, inquiring how it was pos- 
sible for him so vividly to recall what he had never seen. The 
next day, however, he was confronted with the irrefutable chro- 
nology of recorded events ; and, to his utter discomfiture, he 
found he was just six days old when that had occurred every de- 
tail of which in his more mature years he so distinctly recalled. 
In this case my friend's father had unquestionably witnessed 
the famous scene, afterwards so long referred to in Boston 
business circles. He probably had with him one of his chil- 
dren, an older brother of my friend. In after years the 
father was fond of describing the incident, but became con- 
fused as to which particular one of his offspring accompanied 
him. The rest followed. Except as respects his age at the 


time the thing occurred, it was, I fancy, much the same in 
Mr. Hewitt's case. 

However this may be, at the close of my previous paper I 
intimated an intention of following this subject further, but 
in a more general way. To quote my own words, — "The 
Hewitt reminiscence naturally leads up to another Civil War 
legend. I refer to the accepted tradition, now become almost 
an article of American faith, — that somehow and in some 
way the cause of the Union was in its hour of trial dear to 
Queen Victoria, and that we of the North were then under 
deep and peculiar obligation to her. ... I have been quite 
unable to find any definite historical basis for this pleasing 
sentiment. Hereafter, and in the present connection, I pro- 
pose to have on that topic also something to say." The 
results of my further inquiry I now submit. 
- It was on the 7th of February, 1901, that Mr. Hewitt put 
on record his hearsay recollection of the interview between 
Queen Victoria and Mr. Adams ; that apocryphal interview, 
amid domestic surroundings, in which the former declared her- 
self so unreservedly against anything which might lead to hos- 
tilities between Great Britain and the United States. Almost 
exactly a year later Prince Henry of Prussia came to Boston 
in the course of his tour through the United States, and, on 
the 6th of March, 1902, an honorary degree was conferred 
upon him by Harvard University. In the carefully prepared 
address delivered in Sanders Theatre by our associate Presi- 
dent Eliot, when conferring the degree, occurred the follow- 
ing : " Universities have long memories. Forty years ago 
the American Union was in deadly peril, and thousands of 
its young men were bleeding and dying for it. It is credibly 
reported that at a very critical moment the Queen of Eng- 
land said to her prime minister, ' My Lord, you must under- 
stand that I shall sign no paper which means war with the 
United States.' The grandson of that illustrious woman is 
sitting with us here." 

To much the same effect, though nearly thirty years earlier, 
Mr. Joseph H. Choate thus expressed himself at a reception 
tendered that very true friend of ours, the Right Hon. William 
E. Forster, at the Union League Club of New York City, De- 
cember 14, 1874 : " We shall probably find out that we had 
[in Great Britain, during the war of Secession] more friends 


than we knew, both in Parliament and in the Government ; 
and there is the best of reasons for believing that that gracious 
lady, the Queen herself, was from the first to the last an obsti- 
nately faithful ally of America, and was utterly averse to 
anything that might tend to a breach of the peace with her 
dearest ally." 

Here in two instances, far removed from each other both in 
place and time, was Mr. Hewitt's story, appearing and reap- 
pearing in a slightly different form. Mr. Choate adduced in 
support of his statement a letter from Thurlow Weed, telling 
the familiar and to us pathetic story of Prince Albert's sug- 
gested modifications of Earl Russell's first draught of a despatch 
to Lord Lyons, in November, 1861, when news of the Mason- 
Slid ell seizure on the Trent reached England. I have not 
written to Mr. Choate to learn whether he then had, or now 
has, any other information throwing light on the Queen's sub- 
sequent attitude as " from the first to the last [that of] an 
obstinately faithful ally," but I intend so to do. He may 
have known more than he told then, hearing it possibly from 
Mr. Hewitt ; he may have learned more since, during his ser- 
vice in London. This I propose presently to ascertain. The 
somewhat carefully guarded statement of President Eliot was, 
however, both more recent and more specific. The language 
quoted by him as that made use of by the Queen was substan- 
tially the same as that contained in the Hewitt reminiscence ; 
but it was, in this version, uttered to her Minister and not to 
the representative of a foreign country, and that country the 
one directly involved. In so far the Eliot version bore an 
aspect of much greater probability than the Hewitt version. 
The Eliot version was, humanly speaking, at least possible ; 
this can scarcely be said of the Hewitt version. Accordingly, 
I wrote to President Eliot asking his authority for the striking 
statement thus made by him ; if, indeed, he had any authority 
except Mr. Hewitt's then comparatively recent utterance. I 
promptly received the following reply : — 

"In 1874 I was at Oxford for a week. Dr. Acland, to whom I had 
a letter, procured for me an invitation to lunch with Prince Leopold, 
who was then living with a tutor in a small house at Oxford and going 
to some lectures. Dr. Acland went with me, and we were four at the 
table. In the course of the luncheon the Prince told the story of the 
Queen's interview with Lord Russell, Dr. Acland prompting him to do 


so. He gave no authorities and said nothing about the source of his 
information. He must have been a small boy at the time of this inter- 
view with the Queen. Dr. Acland spoke of the story as if he believed 
it. Naturally I remembered the Prince's statement, but I do not know 
that I ever have talked about it. Quite lately — that is, since last 
March — I heard somebody else attribute this statement to Prince 
Leopold, but I have now forgotten who that somebody else was. I 
have never seen any real authority for it, and that is the reason I used 
the expression ' credibly stated.' " 

It thus appears that President Eliot spoke from his own 
recollection of what he had twenty-seven years previously 
been told by a youth of twenty-one of an occurrence and 
conversation which must have taken place at least twelve 
years before that, and when the youth in question was still 
a boy ; for Prince Leopold, born in April, 1853, was, in 1862, 
as yet a child of nine. Nevertheless, here is authority, such 
as it is. Sir Henry Acland was in 1874 a man of fifty-nine. 
He had been in America, a member of the suite of the Prince 
of Wales during his memorable tour of 1860. In 1874 he was 
Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford, and honorary phy- 
sician to Prince Leopold, then an undergraduate. Thus a 
man very competent to form an opinion on such a point, and 
so situated as to have special sources of information thereon, 
intimated a belief in the story. This is corroborative evidence 
too strong to be lightly brushed aside. It indicates clearly and 
indisputably that an accepted tradition prevailed in the royal 
family and about Windsor Castle, that, at some period of crisis 
in the course of our Civil War, Queen Victoria did take a 
decided stand with the Ministry in opposition to anything 
calculated to provoke hostilities with the United States. Ac- 
cepted traditions are rarely without some foundation of fact. 

After very careful investigation my belief is that something 
of the kind described did occur, and that the policy of the Pal- 
merston-Russell government was gravely influenced thereby : 
but I incline to think it occurred at Gotha or Balmoral, and 
not at Windsor ; and, finally, that it was in the late sum- 
mer or early autumn of 1862. For this conclusion I will 
now give my reasons, wholly irrespective of Mr. Hewitt's 
Chamber of Commerce address. For my belief is that Mr. 
Hewitt's reminiscence gradually assumed form in his mind in 
consequence of his having heard at the time, through the 


gossip of London and Paris, vague echoes of something whis- 
pered about as having recently happened at Gotha, or else- 
where. This gossip he gradually confounded in memory with 
talk and incidents in his intercourse with Mr. Adams. 

But to get at the probabilities in the case it is necessary to 
go far back, and obtain a correct understanding of the way in 
which, at the time in question, the Queen and her principal 
advisers viewed the situation of affairs and course of events, 
so far as the troubles in America were concerned. I do not 
propose in this connection to enter into any elaborate analysis 
of the character of Queen Victoria. Indeed, were I to attempt 
so to do, I should have none but the most general sources of 
information from which to draw my inferences. It is suffi- 
cient for my present purpose to call attention to a very no- 
ticeable article, entitled " The Character of Queen Victoria," 
which appeared in the Quarterly Review shortly after her 
death. 1 

This article, the authorship of which, only surmised, has 
never been publicly avowed, was evidently prepared by a 
practised writer, probably in collaboration with some woman, 
presumably of rank, who enjoyed long and peculiar means of 
intimate observation of the royal family. From what is said 
in this paper, — which at the time occasioned a great deal of 
talk in England, — several points of much significance in the 
present connection may safely be educed. Neither naturally, 
nor under the shaping influence of the Prince Consort, did 
the Queen have any bias towards democracy. It was Francis 
Joseph of Austria who on some occasion remarked, " Royalty 
is my business"; and Queen Victoria might well have so 
said. Throughout her entire life she bore herself in the spirit 
of the apothegm; and towards democracy in all its aspects 
and wherever existing, she felt an instinctive aversion. An 
ingrained Jacobite, one of her " strongest traits was her par- 
tiality for the Stuarts ; she forgave them all their faults. She 
used to say, ' I am far more proud of my Stuart than of my 
Hanoverian ancestors'; and of the latter indeed she very 
seldom spoke." She would permit of no disparagement of 
even poor old James II. ; and Dean Stanley used to say that, 
in character, she much resembled Queen Elizabeth, — who, by 

1 Referred to by Mr. Morley in his Life of Gladstone (vol. ii. p. 425) as " the 
remarkable article in the Quarterly Review," No. 386, April, 1901, p. 320. 


the way, she particularly disliked. " When she faces you 
down with her * It must be,' " the Dean declared, " I don't know 
whether it is Victoria or Elizabeth who is speaking." In the 
social life of the Palace also there was nothing of the bourgeois 
Queen about Victoria. She was insistent on court etiquette, 
and the picture given in the article in the Quarterly of the 
German evenings at Windsor is extremely suggestive. u The 
Royalties stood together on the rug in front of the fire, a sta- 
tion which none durst hold but they ; and amusing incidents 
occurred in connection with this sacred object." Thus the 
Queen was utterly devoid of what may be termed sympathy 
for those democratic institutions of which the American Union 
was the great exponent among the nations, or for any move- 
ment in that direction. On the other hand, she had an 
instinctive dread of war, and of all foreign complications 
likely to result in war. Moreover, she had in 1860 been 
gratified, and even touched, by the warm welcome every- 
where extended to the Prince of Wales by the great English- 
speaking community across the Atlantic. The recollection of 
it was still fresh in memory when the issues of the Civil War 
presented themselves. A single thing more remains to be 
said. Queen Victoria was in one important respect the true 
grandchild of George III., our old revolutionary bete noir. 
To quote again, and for the last time, from the article in the 
Quarterly: "No one that knew her late Majesty well will 
be inclined to deny that her extraordinary pertinacity, her 
ingrained inability to drop an idea which she had fairly 
seized, might naturally have developed into obstinacy. By 
nature she certainly was what could only be called obstinate, 
but the extraordinary number of opposite objects upon which 
her will was incessantly exercised saved her from the conse- 
quences of this defect." This final saving clause was of course 
naturally limited to normal conditions. It would be wholly 
safe on the other hand to surmise that the latent, peculiarity 
of character here alluded to would, in her case as in the case 
of her grandfather, become morbidly active in presence of 
sufficiently exciting causes or under an excessive nervous 

Such was the Queen, a factor in the political conditions 
of her kingdom which no minister or combination of ministers 
was, during her long reign, ever able to ignore or even over- 



ride. The royal sphere might be limited, and closely hedged 
about ; but it was there, and within it her Majesty was 
supreme. During the entire period of our Civil War the 
so-called Palmerston-Russell ministry was in power. Formed 
in June, 1859, with an understanding between the two chiefs 
that either who might be sent for by the Queen would accept 
office under the other, it was " looked upon as the strongest 
administration ever formed, so far as the individual talents 
of its members were concerned." l And this fact of the 
individuality and character of those composing the ministry 
became subsequently of great importance in deciding the 
policy to be pursued at the critical period of our Civil War. 
The ministry remained in firm control of the government from 
June, 1859, until the death of Lord Palmerston in October, 
1865. The three leading characters in it were Lord Palmer- 
ston, Premier, Lord John Russell, — created Earl Russell in 
Jul} 7 , 1861, — Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Glad- 
stone, Chancellor of the Exchequer. 

It is not necessary in this paper, nor is it my purpose, again 
to thrash over the old historical material relating to the atti- 
tude and feelings of these men towards America during our 
conflict. The ground has been sufficiently covered, and the 
essential facts in the case are well established and familiar. 
In regard to them, therefore, I shall merely refer to the 
standard works, confining myself to the production of such 
new material as I have chanced upon in the course of recent 
investigations in connection with the inquiry now in hand. 

In the first place, as respects Lord Palmerston. It has 
always been assumed that, from the very commencement of 
our troubles, his sympathies were with the Confederates, 
and that his instincts as a member and representative of the 
British privileged classes were hostile to the more democratic 
North. There can, I fancy, be no question that this was so. 
Nevertheless, during the earliest stages of the struggle, and 
before tjie Trent affair gave a decided adverse bent to the 
Premier's feelings, there was room for question. At first he 
seems to have regarded both parties to the quarrel with in- 
difference, and, apparently, equal dislike. He cared not 
which whipped. Even as late as October 18th, — only twenty- 
one days before the seizure of Mason and Slidell, — the Pre- 
1 Ashley's Lord Palmerston (ed. 1879), vol. ii. p. 364. 


mier thus wrote to the Foreign Secretary : " As to North 
America, our best and true policy seems to be to go on as we 
have begun, and to keep quite clear of the conflict between 
North and South. . . . The love of quarrelling and fighting 
is inherent in man, and to prevent its indulgence is to impose 
restraints on natural liberty. ... I quite agree with you that 
the want of cotton would not justify such a proceeding. . . 
The only thing to do seems to be to lie on our oars and 
to give no pretext to the Washingtonians to quarrel with 
us, while, on the other hand, we maintain our rights and 
those of our fellow countrymen." * 

Thus Palmerston was writing to Earl Russell, he then 
being at Broadlands and the Foreign Secretary in attendance 
on the Queen, who was still at Balmoral. Meanwhile Mr. 
John Lothrop Motley was at that juncture in Great Britain. 
He had in August been appointed to the Austrian mission, 
and, on his way to Vienna, necessarily passed through Eng- 
land. Mr. Seward, newly installed in his office of Secretary 
of State, was then eager to inform himself through all possi- 
ble channels as to the state of affairs in Europe, and the views 
of our conflict held by public men, especially those of Great 
Britain and France. Mr. Motley's English acquaintance was 
exceptionally large ; indeed there were few persons he could 
not reach. Deeply interested in the Union cause, he now 
made frequent reports of a semi-official character to the Secre- 
tary of State. These, I believe, have not yet been published. 
In them I find the following highly interesting accounts 
of interviews and conversations with Earl Russell and the 
Queen, and the writer's impressions as to the views and 
tendencies of Palmerston : — 

" I had addressed a note to Lord Russell (who, as I understood, was 
at his country house called Abergeldie in the north of Scotland) saying 
that I had just returned to this country from America, and that, before 
I departed for Vienna, I should be glad to accept an invitation often 
made by him, that I should visit him in Scotland. The answer came 
by return of post, that he would be delighted to see me at once, and 
that he hoped I would stay as long as I could. 

" On the ninth of September I reached Abergeldie, where, however, 
my engagements did not permit me to stay longer than a day and 
a half. During this time, I had many full conversations with him 

1 Ashley's Palmerston, vol. ii. p. 411. 


of several hours duration. I believe that we discussed the American 
question in all its bearings, and he was frank and apparently sincere 
in his expressions of amity towards the United States, and in depreca- 
tion of a rupture or of serious misunderstanding. . . . 

" I spoke to him of the report alluded to by the editor of the Spec- 
tator, that England would recognise the Confederacy in November. 
He smiled, and said that it was a pure fiction; that no such purpose 
existed. He discussed this matter at considerable length and alluded 
to the practice of nations to recognise de facto governments, when they 
had become facts ; observing that such things went more rapidly in 
modern times than they did of old ; but saying distinctly, and repeat- 
ing it many times, that the government were not thinking of recog- 
nising the Southern confederacy, at present ; that it was impossible 
to know what events might happen in the future, that the U. States 
government itself might ultimately recognise the seceding states, and 
that the English government could not be expected to pledge itself 
never to do what might, at some future period, be done by ourselves. 
At present, no such intention existed. He had been asked recently, in 
writing, by the Southern commissioners whether they were to obtain 
recognition, and, said he, ' I told them, no.' He added that he had 
seen them but twice, on their first arrival, some months ago. Since 
then, he had refused all personal interviews with them. He spoke of 
the tone of the press in America towards England ; and I replied that 
it had been caused by the venomous language, and persistent and 
relentless malignity of the leading London journals ; that there had 
never been more friendly feelings on the part of the American people 
towards this country than just before the outbreak of our troubles, but 
that the cold and scrupulous ' neutrality ' not only of action but of 
sentiment paraded by England, had first surprised and then deeply 
offended the people, and that, on my arrival in America, I had found 
one universal feeling of bitterness even among those who had loved 
England most, which it was almost impossible to struggle against. I 
said that it was to me astonishing that when we had become involved 
in a civil war, because we had at last dethroned the slave power (for 
enduring the despotism of which we had so long been taunted by Eng- 
land) had limited the extension of slavery, had proclaimed the terri- 
tories to be free soil and had established liberty as national and slavery 
as sectional, we should be censured and reviled by the English press, 
be refused one word of public sympathy from public men, should find 
our disasters mocked at by the leading journals and the triumphs of 
our enemies rejoiced in, and our struggles to maintain our place among 
the nations and to preserve the existence of our great republic, either 
derided or condemned as hopeless. 

" He said that he could not censure our course ; nor see how we 


could have avoided the war. He did not wonder at our determination 
to put down the insurrection ; but added that it was of so extensive 
a character, and was spread over so wide a surface, as to make our task 
seem a very formidable one. Five millions of people he thought hard 
to subdue, when fighting on their own soil ; but he had no disposition 
to prejudge the case. He admitted the possibility of our efforts being 
successful, but thought that the effect of the Bull's Run affair would be 
to encourage the confederates. He spoke very reasonably of that 
event, and did not attribute any great consequence to the panic, 
because it was well known that this was not uncommon among raw 
levies and volunteers, who might afterwards become the best of 
soldiers. He thought that much less effect had been produced in 
England by the defeat and the rout, than by the circumstance of so 
many regiments leaving on the eve of active operations, because their 
term of enlistment had expired. This fact — more than anything else 

— had inspired distrust in our cause, because it would seem to argue 
the dying out of that enthusiasm for the war, which had been so con- 
spicuous at first. . . . 

. " In speaking of the relations between our two countries, he said that 

— as in many similar cases — mutual distrust had produced mischief. 
England and America seemed each to suspect the other of hostile 
intentions, while it was probable that both were quite mistaken. He 
asserted, very earnestly, that the United States need fear no compli- 
cations or quarrels with European powers, unless they were of our own 
seeking. No foreign nation wished to meddle with us. . . . 

" Of course the subject of blockade was discussed. I said that in the 
Southern States there was the utmost confidence expressed that Great 
Britain would break our blockade, so soon as the cotton famine became 
imminent. It was notorious that the whole insurrection had been 
founded npon the theory that Great Britain could not exist without 
American cotton, and that therefore she could be relied upon to come to 
their rescue, after the United States should have effectually blockaded 
the cotton ports. The South believes itself possessed of the power of life 
and death over England by means of this single product, and therefore 
felt sure of forcing her into an alliance and into hostility to the United 
States. On the other hand, there was doubtless great uneasiness on 
the subject in the free states. To blockade the coast was one of the 
most indisputable of belligerent rights, and a forcible infringement by 
neutral governments of an effectual blockade was of course tantamount 
to a declaration of war. There was much anxiety therefore lest the 
stress of cotton should lead to war on the part of Great Britain. In 
this case, the consequences to humanity would be most disastrous. 
Without reference to the damage which each nation might inflict on the 
other, it was sufficient to intimate that the first effect of an infringe- 


merit of the blockade and consequently of war made on the United 
States by Great Britain or by France, or by both united, would be a 
proclamation of universal emancipation of the slaves. I felt convinced 
that the people of the free states, finding themselves unjustly and ille- 
gally assailed by foreign powers, when engaged with this formidable 
domestic insurrection would instantly demand this measure in tones 
which no government could resist. The horrors of the French revolu- 
lution had been mainly produced by the unwarrantable interference of 
foreign powers at the outset, and all the terrible results which might, 
at the present American crisis, flow from sudden and forcible emanci- 
pation, — bloodshed, servile insurrections, and the total destruction of 
the cotton cultivation for years, — would be justly laid at the doors of 
the foreign nations whose hostile proceedings should come to aggravate 
our domestic calamities. So long as the insurrection failed in securing 
a foreign alliance we felt confident of suppressing the great mutiny 
against constituted and beniguant authority, without resorting to this 
last and most effective weapon. But, should there be a foreign combi- 
nation against us, in the interest of cotton spinners and in defence of 
the slavery power, I had never heard of any person in the free states, 
whatever his politics, who doubted that general emancipation would be 

" Lord Russell seemed impressed with these views, but suggested that 
such a measure would be but a brutum fidmen — as we were ostensibly 
engaged in a war to maintain the constitution and as the constitution 
forbade interference with slavery in the states. I answered that the 
whole aspect of affairs would be changed by the combination suggested, 
that the war would then become a war to the knife, a struggle for 
existence against enemies foreign aud domestic, that society would be 
resolved into its elements, and that no man could measure the conse- 
quences of such a revolution ; but that the people of the free states 
would feel themselves relieved from all responsibility for the measures 
necessary for their own preservation. I said that I felt that a combi- 
nation between England and France to break our blockade would be 
one of the great crimes of history, aud would be so recorded forever. I 
did not press this subject, however, for he most distinctly agreed with 
me in this opinion, and said that for England or any other power to 
break the blockade, legally and effectually established, would be en- 
tirely unjustifiable, and that the English government had no intention 
whatever of doing it. He repeated, in a grave and earnest manner, 
that they had never contemplated such a step. . . . He was well aware, 
he said, of the power which the South thought itself possessed of over 
foreign nations by means of their cotton, and he sympathised with the 
general impatience of England under this supposed monopoly. The 
government was doing, would do, what it could to foster the produc- 


tion of cotton in India and other countries, and he felt hopeful of the 
result. He alluded to the resolution taken by the South to forbid the 
exportation of cotton, and showed me a familiar note to himself from 
Lord Palmerston on that subject, saying — 'We are up to that dodge.' 

" I have detailed, at some length, our conversations, which were 
almost continuous during the greater part of my day and a half's visit, 
because I think such notices paint the attitude of the English govern- 
ment at the present moment, towards us, as fairly as could be done by 
more formal disquisitions. On the whole, it may be said that our 
destiny is in our own hands. There will be a reluctance on the part 
of England, France, and other foreign nations to interfere with our 
domestic quarrel, and no power is likely to recognise the Confederacy 
nntil, after a reasonable time, it shall appear manifest that the United 
States government is incapable of suppressing the mutiny and restoring 
the Union. That, as a matter of speculation, the European powers are 
incredulous of our capacity to accomplish the task to which we have 
set ourselves, is tolerably certain. At the same time they mean to re- 
main expectant and attentive, and will readily be convinced of the 
justice of our cause by the logic of a few conclusive victories in the 
field. No other argument is likely to produce much effect. It is thor- 
oughly understood here, that the war must go on, — that peace, for 
the present, is impossible. But foreign powers are not yet disposed to 
interfere. Lord Russell expressed the opinion that we were perhaps 
too heedful of the criticism and sentiments of foreign nations, and that 
such sensitiveness would seem to denote a want of confidence in our- 
selves and in the strength of our institutions, which he regretted. I 
answered that the observation was, to a certain extent, just, but that 
our anxiety was, at present, rather in regard to the probable acts of 
other nations, than to their opinions. If we were satisfied that foreign 
governments would leave us alone, to deal with the mutiny as we best 
could, we should soon show a stoicism and indifference towards neutral 
powers, equal to their own. England, by the press and proclamations, 
had cured us of sentimental yearnings for sympathy. 

" It so happened, that in the morning prayers which Lord Russell, 
according to the habit of all English gentlemen, read to his household 
that day he read the chapter in which the passage occurs, * the stone 
which the builders rejected, the same hath become the head of the 
corner,' etc. I commented to him on the oddity of the circumstance 
that he should have read these words to-day, for he was doubtless aware 
of the use which had been made of the text by a prominent personage 
in the Southern ' confederacy.' He replied, that he remembered the 
quotation very well ; — ' the stone,' (slavery) which the builders (the 
framers of the constitution) had rejected, had now become the corner 
stone of the new confederacy. This led to much talk in respect to 


the African slave trade, and I told him it seemed almost puerile to sup- 
pose that the Southern Confederacy, if once established and recognised 
by foreign powers, would not reopen that traffic; that their intentions 
on that subject were notorious, and were among the principal causes of 
the attempt to destroy the union ; that proofs without end might be 
accumulated on this point, if evidence could be deemed necessary. He 
answered that he was fully instructed on this subject ; and that although 
the representations made to the English government by the confed- 
erates were to the contrary effect, — the whole movement being de- 
scribed by them as one of free trade, and of resistance to Northern 
manufacturers and monopolists, — yet that there had been much infor- 
mation received from English consuls and others on whom they relied, 
as to the openly avowed intentions on the part of the South to reopen 
the African slave trade. 

" On the morning after my arrival, Lord Russell mentioned to me at 
breakfast, that the Queen, then residing at Balmoral, about a mile and 
a half from Abergeldie, was aware that I was making him a brief visit 
and that I was to leave early next morning. She had accordingly sent 
to say that the Prince Consort as well as herself would be pleased if I 
would come to Balmoral that afternoon. As I had said nothing on the 
subject, myself, and had never been presented at the Court of St. James, 
I considered this attention as a marked civility not to myself, but to 
the United States of which government I have tbe honor to be one of 
the foreign representatives ; and I expressed my satisfaction in that 
sense, to Lord Russell. 

" In the afternoon he took me to Balmoral in the carriage, and we 
were received by the Prince Consort in the most informal and agree- 
able manner. The conversation was of some twenty minutes duration, 
and was strictly limited to commonplace subjects, without reference to 
politics ; but the Prince Consort took especial pains, I thought, to be 
polite and friendly, and certainly produced a most pleasing impression 
upon me. While we were conversing, the door opened, and her Maj- 
esty walked, quite unattended, into the room, dressed in plain, black, 
morning costume. The Prince Consort presented me, and I was re- 
ceived with much affability; the Queen making a gracious observation 
in regard to myself, which I forbear to repeat, and then speaking at once, 
and with warmth, of the great pleasure which she had derived from the 
reception which the Prince of Wales had met with in America last 
year. The Prince Consort also expressed himself with eagerness on 
this subject, and alluded to the very great delight which the young 
Prince himself had experienced in his tour and in the friendly greeting 
which he had received from our nation. 

" Nothing else, worthy to be repeated, was said, but I thought it my 
duty to mention the incident; for it seemed intended as a mark of re- 


spect and goodwill to the United States. Her Majesty need not have 
seemed aware of my very brief visit to the neighborhood of Balmoral ; 
but I do not wish to attribute more importance to the matter than it 

" On our way back, I observed to Lord Russell that the Queen and 
Prince Consort seemed carefully to have abstained from any allusion to 

" He said — ' Yes — of course — for neither would choose to ap- 
pear as interfering with the constitutional advisers of the crown.' He 
added however, that the Prince had asked him, on his coming into the 
room, a few minutes before I was introduced, ' well, what about rec- 
ognition,' or something to that effect ; and that he had answered, ' no, 
we are not thinking of that at present ; we are not prepared to recog- 
nise the Southern confederacy.' ' I suppose you mean,' said the 
Prince Consort, ' that you don't intend to pledge yourself for all time, 
never to do it, whatever events might happen.' 'Yes/ answered 
Lord Russell, ' we can't look into all the future — but, for the present, 
we have no intention of recognising them.' 

" He added, on my departure from Abergeldie, ' Tell Mr. Adams, 
that we are not thinking of recognising the Southern Confederacy.' 

" On my taking leave of Lady Russell, she said to me ; ' God grant 
that there may be no rupture, no ill blood between our two countries. 
Such an event is dreadful to contemplate.' 

"'-..". I expect to have some conversation, very soon, with Lord 
Palmerston, either at his house in town or at Broadlands. He is 
not yet returned from Walmer Castle, but is expected daily. I shall 
report to you of this, in my next ..." 

The next letter from Mr. Motley was dated " Vienna, 
Nov. /61." In it he wrote : — 

" In the present administration and its supporters, I know that we 
have many warm friends, warmer in their sentiments towards us than 
it would be safe for them in the present state of parties to avow. Lord 
Palmerston is not one of these friends. He knows little of our politics 
or condition, and cares less for them ; and he is reckless of consequences 
should we give him good and popular cause of quarrel. But he is too 
adroit to place himself technically and flagrantly in the wrong ; and 
therefore all fears that there would be a forcible infringement of our 
blockade have always seemed to me quite groundless." 

It is important to note the date — September 9, 1861 — of 
the visit and conversations thus so graphically described. It 
was two months to a day before the occurrence of the Trent 



affair, and eighty days only before all England was set aflame 
by the arrival (November 27) of the news of that affair. The 
attitude towards things American of the British ministry at 
the earlier date was thus explicitly set forth. It certainly pre- 
sented no grounds for complaint on our part. The glimpse 
given of the royal family is also suggestive. 

Up to this time (September, 1861), the recently appointed 
American Minister, Mr. Adams, had met Lord Palmerston 
merely in an official capacity and in the most formal way. 
He had been in London nearly five months; but he had 
arrived when the season was already well advanced towards 
its later stages, and had seen the Premier only on state occa- 
sions, or from the gallery of the House of Commons. Towards 
the end of September he had made a flying visit to Scotland 
at the invitation of Earl Russell, and had there been the guest 
of the latter at Abergeldie Castle for a single day (September 
25), occupied with official business. Mr. Motley had preceded 
him as a guest by about two weeks. While there Lady Rus- 
sell had driven Mr. Adams through the Balmoral grounds, but 
he had seen nothing of the royal family. Subsequently, on 
the 9th of November, lie had been one of the guests and speak- 
ers at the Lord Mayor's dinner, at which the Premier was a 
prominent figure. What the Premier says at the annual Guild- 
hall dinner is apt to be significant. On this occasion Mr. 
Adams listened with the keenest interest. The struggle in 
America was the issue then uppermost in all men's minds, the 
cotton market was excited, and it was not improbable that the 
policy of the government might on this occasion be shadowed 
forth in anticipation of the meeting of Parliament. The im- 
pression left on Mr. Adams's mind was favorable. He referred 
to what Lord Palmerston said as being marked by his " cus- 
tomary shrewdness," adding, — "He touched gently on our 
difficulties ; and, at the same time, gave it clearly to be un- 
derstood that there was to be no interference for the sake of 
cotton." This was on the 9th of November ; and, the very 
day before, the steamer Trent had been stopped in the Old 
Bahama Channel, some four thousand miles away, and Messrs. 
Mason and Slidell taken from her. Eighteen days later, on 
the 27th, the occurrence became known in England. Such 
a contingency had, however, already suggested itself to the 
authorities as a possibility, and the opinion of the law officers 


of the crown asked upon it. Mr. Adams now had his first 
interview with Lord Palmerston. Of it he immediately after- 
wards made the following diary record : — 

"Tuesday, \2th November, 1861: — Received a familiar note from 
Lord Palmerston asking me to call at his house and see him between 
one and two o'clock. This took me by surprise, and I speculated on 
the cause for some time without any satisfaction. At one o'clock I 
drove from my house over to his, Cambridge House in ficcadilly. 
In a few minutes he saw me. His reception was very cordial and 
frank. He said he had been made anxious by a notice that a United 
States armed vessel had lately put in to Southampton to get coal and 
supplies. 1 It had been intimated to him that the object was to inter- 
cept the two men, Messrs. Slidell and Mason, who were understood to 
be aboard the British West India steamer expected to arrive to-morrow 
or next day. He had been informed that the Captain, having got 
gloriously drunk on brandy on Sunday, had dropped down to the mouth 
of the river yesterday, as if on the w r atch. He did not pretend to judge 
absolutely of the question whether we had a right to stop a foreign 
vessel for such a purpose as was indicated. Even admitting that we 
might claim it, it was yet very doubtful whether the exercise of it 
in this way could lead to any good. The effect of it here would be 
unfavorable, as it would seem as if the vessel had come in here to 
be filled with coal and supplies, and the Captain had enjoyed the 
hospitality of the country in filling his stomach with brandy, only 
to rush out of the harbor and commit violence upon their flag. Neither 
did the object to be gained seem commensurate with the risk. For it 
was surely of no consequence whether one or two more men were 
added to the two or three who had already been so long here. They 
would scarcely make a difference in the action of the government after 
once having made up its mind. He was then going on to another 
question, when I asked leave to interrupt him so far as to reply on this 
point. I would first venture to ask him if he would enlighten me as 
to the sources of information upon which he imputed the intention 

1 The United States steamer James Adger, Commander John B. Marchand, 
had left New York October 16, under orders to intercept, if possible, the Confed- 
erate steamer Nashville, which ran the blockade at Charleston on the night of 
October 10, 1861, and was falsely reported to have Messrs. Ma*on and Slidell on 
board, presumably destined for some European port. The Confederate com- 
missioners in fact left Charleston on the Theodora two days later, on the night 
of October 12. The following day they arrived at Nassau, their immediate 
destination ; and thence went to Cuba, still on the Theodora, landing at Car- 
denas. The orders under which Commander Marchand sailed were given under 
an entire misapprehension of facts, and his instructions related exclusively to the 
Nashville. See the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the 
War of the Rebellion, series J., vol. i. pp. 113, 114, 128, 224-227. 


of Captain Marchand to take such a step. His Lordship answered 
that he had no positive information, but that his belief rested on 
inferences of the motive for sending the vessel so far, and the coinci- 
dence in her time of departure. To this I remarked that Captain 
Marchand had been to see me, and had shown me the instructions 
under which he sailed. The object of the government had been, upon 
receiving information that the steamer Nashville from Charleston had 
succeeded in breaking the blockade and was proceeding with these 
men on a voyage to Europe, to despatch vessels in several directions 
with the design of intercepting and capturing her. I presumed that 
no objection could exist to such a proceeding on our part. His Lord- 
ship assented, though he did not seem to have heard of the Nashville 
or to understand its destination. I then said that the James Adger 
had been sent in this direction, but finding no news of the Nashville, 
and learning that the two emissaries had stopped at the West Indies, 
Captain Marchand had written to me his intention to return to the 
United States. I would however remark that I had urged him to 
follow up a steamer called the Gladiator which had been fitted up and 
despatched from London with contraband of war for the insurgents. 
Though sailing under British colors, I advised him to seize her on the 
first symptom of destination to a harbor in the United States. His 
Lordship did not deny my right, but he intimated that the proof 
ought to be well established. I said that my government had no 
desire to open questions with this country. On the contrary I think 
they would do all in their power to avoid them. But I could not 
deny that these proceedings in England were excessively annoying, 
and that there would spring up a strong desire to arrest them as 
decisively as possible. His Lordship then passed to the case of Mr. 
Bunch, the consul at Charleston. . . . We then passed into more 
general conversation, in the course of which I ventured to ask if it was 
to be presumed that the two governments of France and Great Britain 
were acting in concert in regard to the United States. He said, Yes. 
I then mentioned my having received in my latest despatch notice 
that M. Mercier had apprised my government that the French stood 
in need of cotton. Was I to understand that this was in concert too ? 
His Lordship said that he was aware of the French government having 
directed a suggestion to be made, that it would be glad to have cotton, 
but it was nothing more, and Lord Lyons had not any direction to join 
in it. I replied that I so understood it, but that I could not but regret 
such steps as they formed the only foundation upon which the insur- 
gents rested their hopes of success. Mr. Yancey in his speech at the 
fishmongers' dinner had sufficiently expressed it, but in point of fact 
I had reason to know that he and his associates had been indefatigable 
in their representations of the certainty of interference in their behalf. 


It was this view of the subject which created the irritation in the 
United States. If we could be left entirely to ourselves the issue 
would not be long doubtful. To this his Lordship made the common 
remark among his countrymen that we might perhaps coerce and 
subdue them, but that would not be restoring the Union. I answered 
that such was not our desire. What we expected to do was to give 
them an opportunity for making an unbiased decision. We believed 
that this was a conspiracy which had blown up a great rebellion. A 
short time would test the sense of the whole community. If the 
presence of a force adequate to protection did not develop a counter 
movement to return to the Union, I did not believe that pure coercion 
would be persevered in. I did not however add my conviction that 
slavery as a political element must be completely expunged before 
there can be any hope of permanent peace. I then took my leave and 
returned home." * 

This record certainly shows Lord Palmerston in no attitude 
of hostility to America. On the contrary, he distinctly went 
out of his way to give a friendly intimation calculated to fore- 
stall and prevent the doing of something which was unfortu- 
nately already done, but which is now universally admitted 
to have been the super-zealous act of well-nigh incredible 
folly on the part of a highly indiscreet and ill-balanced naval 
officer. And Lord Palmerston did this, too, in a very kindly 
way. There was in his manner nothing either rough or 
brusque, or in any way offensive. On the contrary, it was 
marked by much characteristic bonhomie. Mr. Adams so 
accepted it, and began even to relax in his suspicions of 
the Premier. 

The next glimpse we get of Palmerston he appears in quite 
another character. It is from the recently published Memoirs 
of Sir Horace Rumbold. The Trent was stopped November 
8th ; the interview between Mr. Adams and the Premier 
at Cambridge House was on the 12th ; the news of what 
had taken place on the 8th reached London on the 27th. 
I now quote Sir Horace Rumbold : 2 " As soon as the news 
reached England, a Cabinet Council was summoned, and I 
had it on the same day from Evelyn Ashley that Lord Palmer- 

1 Mr. Adams's official account of this very significant interview is contained 
in a despatch to the Secretary of State dated November 15, 1861, It was never 
printed in the Diplomatic Correspondence, but is to be found almost in full in 
volume 115 of the War Records (pp. 1078, 1079). 

2 Sir Horace Rumbold, Recollections of a Diplomatist, vol. ii. p. 83. 


ston, on entering the room where the Ministers met in Down- 
ing Street, threw his hat on the table, and at once commenced 
business by addressing his colleagues in the following words : 
' 1 don't know whether you are going to stand this, but I '11 

be d d if I do ! ' The ultimatum demanding the surrender 

of the prisoners was decided upon there and then, and sent 
out within two days (on the following Sunday)." 

Into what subsequently occurred in the so-called Trent 
affair I do not propose here to enter. It is matter of history, 
and, in this connection, I have no new light to throw upon it. 
The royal family was then at Windsor, having left Balmoral 
October 22. The Prince Consort began to sicken on the 1st 
of December; he died on December 14. As is well known, 
his very last public act was to soften down the asperities of 
the despatch to Lord Lyons as originally drawn up by the 
Foreign Secretary, and, according to usage, submitted to 
the Queen before transmission. Full details on this subject 
may be found in Sir Theodore Martin's Life of the Prince 
Consort. It is sufficient here to say — but to emphasize it 
is of importance in the matter under discussion — the last 
working hours of the Prince were anxiously devoted to an 
effort to preserve friendly relations between Great Britain and 
the United States. That might well have been considered his 
dying injunction to the Queen. The Prince was buried on 
the 23d of December ; and when, on the 9th of the following 
month, Lord Palmerston officially communicated to her Maj- 
esty the intelligence that the Trent affair was happily solved, 
she promptly reminded him of the fact that " this peaceful 
issue of the American quarrel was greatly owing to her 
beloved Prince." 1 

In America active military operations had then ceased, and 
the two rivals were preparing for a supreme trial of strength 
when the season for military operations should open. Europe 
was looking on; a universal mourning for the Prince Consort 
overshadowed Great Britain ; the stoppage of cotton shipments 
by the Federal blockade was beginning to make itself felt in 
the manufacturing districts of both England and France ; the 
combined French, Spanish, and English movement on Mexico 
was in preparation ; the expediency and consequent proba- 
bility of a joint movement of European powers looking to a 
1 Lee's Victoria, p. 328. 


recognition of the Confederacy and a consequent intervention 
in our Civil War was under discussion ; no active movement to 
that end had, however, yet been initiated. The Queen herself, 
much broken by the death of her husband, and both mentally 
and physically in a condition which caused profound solici- 
tude, attended to her public duties and transacted business as 
had been her habit with her ministers, but naturally had to be 
treated by them with great consideration. Morbid excitement 
was feared, and anything which might conduce to it carefully 

This condition of affairs lasted all through both the winter 
and spring of 1862, — the months immediately following the 
death of the Prince Consort. During that time there is no rea- 
son whatever to suppose that, as a question of policy, any issue 
growing out of the American difficulties was brought to the 
Queen's notice. She had no occasion to express herself; and, 
w r eighed down by domestic affliction, her mind was intent on 
other things. During those months, however, the cotton fam- 
ine reached its worst stages both in Great Britain and France ; 
and, contemporaneously, the Union operations underwent se- 
vere reverses. As a natural result, the question of recognition, 
and consequent intervention, became urgent. The French 
Emperor publicly favored this course, repeatedly and persist- 
ently urging the British government to take the initiative, 
and signifying his readiness to co-operate. 1 The struggle in 
America was the uppermost subject of interest throughout 
Europe, and especially in Great Britain, where the tide of 
sympathy ran strongly with the Confederates in what was 
looked upon as their gallant struggle for independence against 
overwhelming odds of men and resources. The condition of 
the Queen, though not discussed openly, was well under- 
stood in court circles. She was unequal to any nervous strain. 
This was recognized by the Confederate emissaries in London 
as a serious obstacle in the way of that recognition for which 
they were praying. They also were well informed on this 
point ; probably far better informed than the American Min- 
ister, for at least four out of five of the ministry and members 
of Parliament, and almost the entire court circle, were strong 
sympathizers with the Confederacy. Accordingly, on February 
28, 1862, James M. Mason, the Confederate commissioner in 
1 Rhodes's United States, vol. iv. pp. 94 n., 346. 


London, wrote to Mr. Hunter, the Richmond Secretary of 
State : " In political circles it is thought the condition of the 
Queen has much to do with the manifest reluctance of the 
Ministry to run any risk of war by interference with the block- 
ade. It is said that she is under great constitutional depres- 
sion, and nervously sensitive to anything that looks like war. 
Indeed much fear is entertained as to the condition of her 
health." And a few days later (March 11) to the same effect: 
" Many causes concur [in bringing about a general support of 
the ministry in its policy of non-intervention]. First, the pre- 
vailing disinclination in any way to disturb the mourning of 
the Queen. The loyalty of the English people to their present 
Sovereign is strongly mixed up with an affectionate devotion 
to her person. You find this feeling prevalent in all circles 
and classes." Finally, writing on the 31st of July following, 
Mason says: " The Queen remains in great seclusion, and it 
is more than whispered that apprehension is entertained lest 
she lapse into insania." 1 

That summer the Queen passed at Osborne, at Balmoral, 
and at Windsor; but early in the autumn (September) she 
went over to Germany, and was for a short time at Gotha, 
returning to England October 26. Earl Russell was in at- 
tendance there upon her ; and the crisis in American affairs, 
so far as European intervention was concerned, then occurred. 
It was, I am inclined to believe, at that juncture, if ever, 
the Queen took a decided stand with the ministry against 
the adoption of any policy likely to lead to hostilities with the 
United States. Almost certainly the issue must then have 
been presented to her. 

It came about in this wise: — Referring to the outcome of the 
so-called Pope, or second Bull Run, campaign before Wash- 
ington in August, 1862, Lord Palmerston wrote to Earl Rus- 
sell, then (September 14) in attendance at Gotha, suggesting 
whether the time had not come " for us to consider whether, in 
such a state of things, England and France might not address 
the contending parties and recommend an arrangement upon 
" the basis of separation." This suggestion strongly commended 
itself to the Foreign Secretary, who replied on the 17th that 
he was decidedly of the same mind as the Premier : " I agree 

1 The Public Life and Diplomatic Correspondence of James M. Mason, 
pp. 264, 265, 315. 


witli you that the time is come for offering mediation to the 
United States government, with a view to the recognition 
of the independence of the Confederates. I agree farther 
that, in case of failure, we ought ourselves to recognize the 
Southern States as an independent State. For the purpose of 
taking so important a step, I think we must have a meeting of 
the Cabinet. The 23d or 30th would suit me for the meet- 
ing." To this very emphatic acquiescence in his views, Lord 
Palmerston six days later, on the 23d, wrote back: "Your 
plan of proceedings . . . seems to be excellent. ... As to 
the time of making the offer [of mediation] if France and 
Russia agree — and France, we know, is quite ready, and only 
waiting for our concurrence — events may be taking place 
which might render it desirable that the offer should be made 
before the middle of October." Lord Russell now left Gotha 
and returned to London, Lord Granville relieving him in at- 
tendance on the Queen. Shortly after Lord Granville assumed 
his personal duties a message reached him from the Foreign 
Secretary announcing the probability of the question of joint 
mediation being brought before the Cabinet. And it is just 
here if anywhere, — at the very darkest period of our struggle, 
that week in September which saw the indecisive conflict at 
Antietam in Maryland, and while the " fate of Kentucky was 
hanging in the balance," 1 — it was, as I surmise, at this junc- 
ture, if at all, that the Queen took the stand she is alleged to 
have taken, and put her personal veto on any movement, or 
change of policy, calculated to embroil the two countries. 
That she did so cannot be positively asserted from any evi- 
dence yet come to light. There is, however, a mystery which 
then did- hang over the outcome of events, — a mystery the 
American Minister was unable to penetrate, and never did 
penetrate, — but which would be explained in a way alto- 
gether natural on the hypothesis that the incident narrated 
by Prince Leopold occurred at that time. In any event, some- 
thing indisputably did occur of a nature potent enough to give 
pause to the programme fully decided upon between the two 
heads of the Cabinet. 

The letter from Lord Russell in London to Lord Granville 
in attendance at Gotha, announcing the proposed change of 
policy, and intended, of course, for the information of the 

1 Rhodes's United States, vol. iv. p. 177. 


Queen, must have reached its destination during the last ten 
days of September. Now it is a well-established fact histori- 
cally that, under the guidance of the Prince Consort, the Queen 
had ever since the early days of her reign come to " regard the 
supervision of foreign affairs as peculiarly within the Sover- 
eign's province." 1 After the Prince Consort's death, — u grad- 
ually she controlled her anguish, and deliberately resigned 
herself to her fate. . . . Hitherto the Prince, she said, had 
thought for her. Now she would think for herself. His 
example was to be her guide. The minute care that he 
had bestowed with her on affairs of State she would bestow. 
Her decisions would be those that she believed he would have 
taken. She would seek every advantage that she could derive 
from the memory of his counsel." 2 As respects the struggle 
in America, the chief members of the ministry had " made no 
secret of their faith in the justice of the cause of the South. 
The Queen and Prince Consort inclined to the opposite side." 3 
During the year following the Prince's death she on more than 
one occasion " pressed her own counsel on [her Ministers] with 
unfailing pertinacity, and was often heard with ill-concealed 
impatience." Once at least it is recorded that in a matter 
of continental policy she " sternly warned her Government 
against any manner of interference" ; and on another occasion 
she wrote, — '' I know that our dear angel Albert always re- 
garded a strong Prussia as a necessit}^ for which therefore it 
is a sacred duty for me to work." To the same effect in 
January, 1864, she wrote to Duke Ernst, the brother of the 
Prince Consort, referring to a matter of foreign policy, — " Our 
beloved Albert could not have acted otherwise." Subsequently, 
during the Schleswig-Holstein complications, when the min- 
istry, backed by public sympathy, strongly inclined to inter- 
vention, " the credit of upholding in England a neutral policy 
was laid with justice, in diplomatic circles, at the Queen's 
door." 4 As Mr. Gladstone at this time wrote of her from 
Balmoral to his wife, " her recollection of the Prince's 
sentiments [is] a barometer to govern her sympathies and 
affections," 5 

i Sidney Lee's Queen Victoria, p. 128. 2 Ibid., p. 323. 

« Ibid., p. 314. 

* Ibid., pp. 336, 337, 338, 345, 351. 

6 Morley's Gladstone, vol. ii. p. 97 ; also, ibid. p. 102. 



Such was the practice during the period succeeding the 
death of Prince Albert, and such the course of the Queen. 
The communication from Earl Russell to Lord Granville, in- 
volving as it did a question of state policy of great moment 
on an issue which absorbed public attention, must presumably 
have been brought to the notice of the Queen. It was for 
that purpose Earl Granville was in attendance ; and Earl 
Granville, besides being an experienced diplomat, was a most 
tactful man. 1 If it was so brought to the Queen's notice, 
what then passed between her and the member of the Cabinet 
in attendance upon her, we do not know. We do know that 
the Queen felt a chronic mistrust of Lord Russell's judgment 
in the conduct of foreign affairs, a mistrust which had been 
made manifest to her other advisers ; as Mr. Gladstone ex- 
pressed it a year later, " I have already had clear proof of 
this." 2 Whatever may have occurred on the present occasion, 
we further know that Lord Granville at once wrote " a very 
long letter " to the Foreign Secretary, one passage from which 
only has come to light. It is quoted in Spencer Walpole's 
Life of Earl Russell. That passage is significant. It was 
very much in the nature of a cold douche to the action pro- 
posed : " It is premature to depart from the policy which has 
hitherto been adopted by you and Lord Palmerston ; and 
which, notwithstanding the strong antipathy to the North, 
the strong sympathy with the South, and the passionate wish 
to have cotton, has met with such general approval from 
Parliament, the press, and the public." 3 

It would be very interesting in the present connection if we 
could see the rest of the " long letter" from which such a 
paltry extract was thus taken. Though Lord Granville was 
naturally much deferred to in the council of a ministry over 
which it had originally been proposed he should himself pre- 
side as Premier, it is to be presumed that the Foreign Secretary, 

1 ' Lord Granville was excessively fortunate in all his dealings with the Queen. 
A finished actor and a finished man of the world, he contrived in all conditions 
to maintain exactly the right tone. The remarkable gifts of this astute states- 
man never appeared to such brilliant advantage as during his interviews with the 
Queen, whom he exhilarated with his gaiety and sprightly wit. Of Lord John 
Russell she said amusingly, that he would be better company if he had a third 
subject; for he was interested in nothing except the Constitution of 1688 and — 
himself/' Quarterly Review, January, 1901, p. 333. 

2 Morley's Gladstone, vol. ii. p. 98. 

3 The Life of Lord John Russell, vol. ii. p. 363. 


in Downing Street, wrote to the Lord President of the Coun- 
cil, at Gotha, not to obtain an expression of his own views, 
but as the member of the Cabinet then in immediate attend- 
ance on the Queen. Rumors, strange and painful, were in 
circulation concerning her condition. One, well understood 
at the time, was that she believed herself to be in constant 
spiritual communication with her dead husband. This had 
become an hallucination, and odd stories, half humorous and 
wholly pathetic, were whispered about of the extravagances 
into which she was led by it. Lord Granville was a discreet 
as well as a considerate man ; very devoted to the Queen, he 
was the last person likely to put anything on paper which 
might reflect on the Queen's sanity, or imply a doubt concern- 
ing it. None the less she had to be dealt with most tenderly. 
She was, moreover, especially sensitive about the attitude of 
Great Britain towards America. She may well have looked 
upon that question in the light of what she regarded the 
dying injunction of her husband — not yet nine months gone. 1 
War she shrank from always, and she regarded Prince Albert 
as a victim in the cause of amity in this particular case. 
Under all these circumstances — the native obstinacy of her 
disposition not improbably incited to action by some implicitly 
believed supernatural communication — it is more than pos- 
sible, it is highly probable even, that she now expressed her- 
self to Lord Granville in some such way as that traditionally 
reported in the Prince Leopold anecdote. Nothing indeed 
would have been more natural than for her so to do. She 
was immovable ; and that immobility the tactful Granville 
expressed in the somewhat noticeable diplomatic phraseology 
of the above brief extract from his u very long letter." If so, 
his colleagues evidently understood him. 

Certainly, what then ensued is curious. A programme of 
momentous foreign policy advisedly entered upon after months 
of consideration by men of mature life and long experience, 
like Palmerston and Russell, was not lightly to be abandoned. 
It might be deferred. They understood the Queen ; they 

1 Referring to the Schleswig-Holstein question a year later, and describing an 
evening's talk with the Queen, Mr, Gladstone wrote : " She spoke about this with 
intense earnestness, and said she considered it a legacy from him." And again, 
in September, 1864 : " Whenever she quotes an opinion of the Prince, she looks 
upon the question as completely shut up by it, for herself and all the world." 
Morley's Gladstone, vol. ii. pp. 102, 105. 


fully appreciated the condition in which she then was, as 
well as that into which she might easily be precipitated. 
They might well, by inconsiderate action on that particular 
subject, force her over the edge of the much dreaded abyss. 
Studied from this point of view, what now ensued was sug- 
gestive. The Cabinet fell into a species of chaos. It was 
small matter for surprise that Mr. Adams, watching intently 
outer developments, professed himself unable to grasp the 
bearing of what was said and done. If I am correct in my 
present surmise, he did not hold the key to the mystery. 

Immediately on receiving Lord Granville's " very long 
letter " from Gotha, Lord Russell transmitted it to Lord 
Palmerston, then at Broadlands. This was probably about 
the 30th of September. Two days later, on October 2, it 
was returned to the Foreign Secretary with a hesitating refer- 
ence to the course of events in America as indicated by the 
tidings which immediately followed the outcome at Antietam, 
closing with a suggestion of delay. " Ten days or a fortnight 
more may throw a clearer light upon future prospects." That 
" ten days or a fortnight" Lord Russell utilized in the prepa- 
ration of an elaborate, though confidential, cabinet circular 
in direct furtherance of the deferred mediation programme. 
In spite of the significant missive from Gotha, that programme 
was by no means abandoned; and most naturally not. It had 
been discussed, and agreed upon. In the Cabinet circular the 
question was plainly put, whether in the light of what had 
taken place in America, and the condition of distress prevail- 
ing throughout the manufacturing districts of England and 
France, it was not the duty of Europe " to ask both parties, 
in the most friendly and conciliatory terms, to agree to a 
suspension of arms for the purpose of weighing calmly the 
advantages of peace," — and so forth and so on, in the usual 
cant of the philanthropic, but interested, neutral. This con- 
fidential memorandum was sent forth on or about the 13th of 
October. The meeting of the Cabinet was fixed for the 23d. 
The crisis for America was plainly imminent. Mr. Adams 
was much alive to it, but very conscious of his own impotence 
to affect results. "The suspense," he wrote, "is becoming 
more and more painful. I do not think since the beginning 
of the war I have felt so profoundly anxious for the safety 
of the country." And again, a few days later, — " We are 


still left in suspense. I hope more than I dare express. For 
a fortnight my mind has been running so strongly on all this 
night and day that it seems almost to threaten my life." 

Just then it was that Mr. Gladstone further complicated 
the situation by that famous Newcastle speech in which, amid 
the cheers of his audience, he declared that Jefferson Davis 
had " made a nation " and went on to express his belief that 
the independence of the Confederacy and the consequent 
dissolution of the American Union were " as certain as any 
event yet future and contingent can be." A more indiscreet 
utterance on the part of a prominent public man it would be 
difficult to formulate. Twenty-one } T ears later, when himself 
Prime Minister, Mr. Gladstone had occasion to refer to a not 
dissimilar speech made by a colleague on a matter of policy 
then under discussion, and he did so in words at once 
characteristic and curiously applicable to his own Newcastle 
outbreak when Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Palmer- 
ston-Russell ministry. The colleague in question, he wrote, 
" seems to claim an unlimited liberty of speech," and what 
he said, he went on to add, " exceeded [the recognized limits 
of modesty and reserve] largely, gratuitously, and with a total 
absence of recognition of the fact that he was not an indi- 
vidual, but a member of a body." 1 

Well might Mr. Adams write in his diary, after reading the 
apparently wanton, unless deeply significant, utterance of Mr. 
Gladstone, — "If he [the Chancellor of the Exchequer] be 
any exponent at all of the views of the Cabinet, then is my 
term likely to be very short; for the animus as respects Mr. 
Davis and the recognition of the rebel cause is very apparent. 
. . . The meditation on these things sensibly depressed my 
spirits. We are now passing through the very crisis of our 
fate." And he had good cause so to express himself. The 
European cotton famine of 1861-1863, incident to the Union 
blockade of the ports of the Confederacy, and the suffering, 
not less wide-spread than cruel, thereby occasioned, have long 
since passed out of recollection. It is as if they, together 
with the political pressure and international problems result- 
ing therefrom, had never been. None the less, a few weeks 
only after Lord Russell drafted his Cabinet circular just 
referred to, Mr. Gladstone expressed himself in language 

1 Morley's Gladstone, vol. iii. p. 113. 


most emphatic as to " the heavy responsibility you [Ameri- 
cans of the North] incur in persevering with this destructive 
and hopeless war at the cost of such dangers and evils to 
yourselves, to say nothing of your adversaries, or of an 
amount of misery inflicted upon Europe such as no other 
civil war in the history of man has ever brought upon those 
beyond its immediate range." The writer then went on thus 
to set forth the wickedness of any further continuance of our 
efforts towards a re-establishment of the Union : " The im- 
possibility of success in a war of conquest of itself suffices to 
make it unjust. When that impossibility is reasonabty proved, 
all the horror, all the bloodshed, all the evil passions, all the 
dangers to liberty and order, with which such a war abounds, 
come to lie at the door of the party which refuses to hold its 
hand and let its neighbor be. You know that in the opinion 
of Europe that impossibility has [in the present case] been 
proved." 1 

• Returning to Mr. Gladstone's speech at Newcastle-on- 
Tyne, that extraordinary and well-nigh inexplicable indiscre- 
tion has been sufficiently discussed elsewhere. Mr. Morley 
also has a good deal to say about it in his recent book. 2 
It is here referred to only in its connection with the 
Palmerston-Russell programme of September-October, 1862, 
involving a recognition of the Confederacy and the cessation 
of hostilities. Of that proposed action the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer was advised. He had been consulted concerning 
it, 3 and in his Newcastle speech he merely foreshadowed a 
coming event. It was so understood by the public ; and, 
being so understood, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had, 
so to speak, unwittingly let the cat out of the ministerial bag. 
The Newcastle speech was on the 7th of October; on the 
13th the Foreign Secretary sent out his confidential memo- 
randum to the members of the Cabinet; on the 23d the meet- 
ing of the Cabinet was to take place. That meeting never 

1 Letter to Cyrus W. Field, November 27, 1862. Harper's Monthly Magazine, 
(May, 1896), vol. xcii. p. 847. 

2 Mr. Gladstone himself long subsequently (1896) said of this utterance : "My 
offence was indeed only a mistake, but one of incredible grossness, and with such 
consequences of offence and alarm attached to it, that my failing to perceive 
them justly exposed me to very severe blame." Morley's Gladstone, vol. ii. 
p. 82. 

3 Ibid. p. 76. 


did take place. On the 14th Sir George Lewis, head of the 
War Office, speaking at Hereford, very pointedly controverted 
the position taken by his colleague, the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer ; and thus, as if by magic, the Premier and the 
Foreign Secretary found themselves between two fires, Lord 
Granville, representing the Queen on one side, and Sir George 
Lewis, speaking for what might be best described as the 
Cobden-Bright element in the Cabinet, on the other side. 1 
That cross-fire drawn by Mr. Gladstone so inopportunely for 
them, so opportunely for us, Lord Palmerston did not care to 
face. And in such emergencies it was now the wont of the 
octogenarian Premier to suggest that " it would be best for 
us to wait awhile before taking any strong step." So they 
waited now ; but the time for taking the " strong step " in 
this case never came. 

To what extent the well-known physical and mental condi- 
tion of the Queen, her attitude towards the United States, 
and her utterances to her Ministers may have contributed 
at this most important juncture to the negation of action 
will, in all human probability, remain a mysteiy. That they 
were important factors in the final result may perhaps be 
assumed from the extract I have quoted from Lord Granville's 
letter to Earl Russell. That her attitude and utterances 
assumed at any time the emphatic and obstructive shape 
assigned to them in the royal family traditions cannot be 
asserted ; to me it seems probable they did. In any event, 
Prince Leopold's story furnishes a most plausible explanation 
of a diplomatic and political volte-face in a move which at the 
time Mr. Adams correctly regarded as involving the " very 
crisis of our fate," and the outcome of which he afterwards 
always looked back upon as strangely inexplicable. 

The meeting of the British Cabinet, notified for October 
23, 1862, was, as I have said, never held. In part place of 
it, the American Minister on the afternoon of that day had 
a long and very significant talk with the Foreign Secretary 
at his official residence in Downing Street. Of that interview, 
and what then was said, Mr. Adams at the time wrote down 

1 Mr. Morley, however, in his Gladstone (vol. ii. p. 80) says, — "Lewis, at 
Lord Palmerston's request as I have heard, put things right." This would not 
affect the statement in the text as to a strong difference of opinion in the 
Cabinet over the question at issue. See Life of C. F. Adams, American States- 
men Series, pp. 283-289. 


two accounts, — one in his diary, the other in the form of a 
despatch to Secretary Seward. In neither account is there 
any reference to the Queen, or suggestion that by possibility 
she had exercised an influence over the outcome of events. 
That the danger had been great and the margin of safety 
the narrowest possible, Mr. Adams fully realized ; but I 
gravely doubt if it ever entered into his conception that, 
at the very most critical period of our foreign relations dur- 
ing the Civil War, — a period when it was simply touch- 
and-go with the Union, — the whole course of events may 
not impossibly have turned on the individual attitude of the 
widow of Prince Albert. 

Mr. Adams's diary account of his interview with Earl Russell 
on the afternoon of October 23, 1862, is as follows : 2 — 

" At half-past two o'clock drove to the Foreign Office to keep the 
appointment made by Lord Russell for three. I found in the ante- 
chamber quite a number of the corps, however, apparently assigned 
for the same hour. Among them Count Bernstorff, who has just re- 
turned, Baron Brunnow, Count Flahault, M. Musurius and the Spanish 
and Danish ministers at a later moment. Of course there was a long 
delay and desultory conversation. The only thing worth noting was 
that Baron Brunnow, on coming down from his interview, took me 
aside and reminded me of a conversation we had had some time ago in 
the same chamber, in which he had expressed a belief of the intention 
of this government to maintain its position with us. He remembered 
I had expressed doubts, but he had proved right. He still thought that 
the same disposition continued to prevail. I said I was glad to hear 
him say so. As to the past I could only say that I then thought I had 
reason for my doubts. Some time or other I would tell him, but at 
present I could not. He said he remembered I had said so before and 
he had made a note of it. It was half past four before I had my audi- 
ence. I began by referring to the topic which had last occupied us at 
the preceding meeting in August, the objection of Lord Palmerston to 
a report of certain language of his at our conference last year attrib- 
uted to me by one of the commanders of our national vessels whom I had 
never seen or heard of. I read to him a part of a Despatch of Mr. 
Seward on the subject completely exonerating me from all share in the 
business, and promising to search out the source of the fable. Lord 
Russell said this was quite enough to dispense with the necessity of 
saying anything to Lord Lyons about it. I then seized this allusion to 

1 The formal despatch containing his report of this interview is printed in 
Diplomatic Correspondence, 1862, p. 223. Adams to Seward, October 24, 1862. 



Lord Lyons to introduce my real object in the interview. I expressed 
the hope that he might be going out for a long stay. I had indeed 
been made of late quite fearful that it would be otherwise. If I had 
entirely trusted to the construction given by the public to a late speech 
I should have begun to think of packing my carpet bag and trunks. 
His Lordship at once embraced the allusion, and whilst endeavoring to 
excuse Mr. Gladstone, in fact admitted that his act had been regretted 
by Lord Palmerston and the other Cabinet officers. Still he could not 
disavow the sentiments of Mr. Gladstone so far as he understood them, 
which was not that ascribed to him by the public. Mr. G. was him- 
self willing to disclaim that. He had written to that effect to Lord 
Palmerston. I replied that I had no intention to ask a disavowal, nor 
did I seek even to impute to Mr. Gladstone the construction of his 
language adopted by others. At the same time I saw its mischievous 
effects in aggravating the evil of the growing alienation of the two 
countries. Mr. Gladstone's speech would be published everywhere in 
America. It would therefore be regarded as an official exposition, and 
as such would aggravate the irritation already much too great. On the 
other hand, it formed a nucleus here around which all those adverse to 
peace with us would concentrate. Lord Lyons had called on me in the 
morning and we had joined in regretting the change going on here for 
the worse. Much as I had been disposed to friendly relations I was be- 
ginning to despair. His Lordship admitted the change in a degree, but 
he thought there was still a majority in any ordinary meeting well in- 
clined. I said that it might be so now, but two more speeches like that 
of Mr. Gladstone would dissipate it all. His Lordship said that the 
policy of the government was to adhere to a strict neutrality, and to 
leave this struggle to settle itself. But he could not tell what a month 
would bring forth. I asked him if I was to understand that policy as 
not now to be changed. He said Yes. I answered that my errand was 
then finished. And I took my leave." 

Remarks were made during the meeting by Messrs. Charles 
E. Norton, Willtam R. Thayer, Franklin B. Sanborn, 
and Archibald Cary Coolidge. 






It is the rare good fortune of the Historical Society to count 
among its members many famous judges. John Lowell, John 
Davis, Lemuel Shaw, George T. Bigelow, Theron Metcalf, 
Benjamin R. Curtis, Benjamin F. Thomas, E. Rock wood Hoar, 
Charles Devens, Walbridge A. Field, and Horace Gray make 
a list of men whose biography would be almost a thorough 
history of American jurisprudence since the adoption of the 
Constitution. Each of the men whom I have named well 
served the State in more than one department of usefulness, 
and would have been an eminent man, the particulars of whose 
life would have been worth recording, if he had never been 
upon the bench. 

This is not mere accident. It is not, I think, because 
these men have been eminent citizens of Massachusetts, and 
the Society has always liked to reckon among its members 
eminent citizens of Massachusetts. It is largely because a 
great American judge must be penetrated with the spirit of 
American history. The capacity needed for a judge is the 
same with that needed for a historian. Each must be able to 
weigh evidence in an intellectual balance in which there is no 
dust and no local attraction. Each must have that rare but 
indispensable gift of discerning the truth of the fact in spite 
of the weight of the evidence. Each must be able to under- 
stand human nature and be able to attribute the true and 
rightful motive to human action. The historian must thor- 
oughly understand the laws of the people whose chronicles he 
is to write, or he never can comprehend their history. The 
judge must thoroughly understand the history of the people 
whose justice he is to administer, or he never can comprehend 


their laws. Each must be able, to use Emerson's phrase, to 
" scan truth and conduct with a cold eye," and each must be 
penetrated with an enthusiastic love of the country whose 
story he is to tell or whose law he is to declare. 

Of course the gift of spirited and telling narrative, rising on 
fit occasion to the loftiest eloquence, must belong to the per- 
fect historian. It is rarely, if ever, that the use of such a 
faculty would be becoming to a judge. His impression, if he 
have to state facts or to argue great principles, must be made 
by the clearness of his statement and the weight of what he 
says. In that respect the capacity of the historian is that of 
the advocate and not of the judge. Yet sometimes the style 
of the greatest historians has been eminently judicial, and, on 
some rare occasions, judges have risen to the highest elo- 
quence in their judicial opinions. 

Horace Gray was called to the bench too early in his career 
to have won much fame in any other field. Yet he had al- 
ready abundantly proved his capacity as an advocate, as a 
historical investigator, as a scholar, and as a student of natural 
history. He did just enough in each of these fields to make 
his friends certain that he would have acquired fame there if 
he had not been devoted from his youth to the public duty to 
which he gave himself up with a singleness of purpose rare 
even among great judges. 

The reader who does not belong to the profession of the law 
is not likely to take interest in a list of judicial decisions, how- 
ever important the questions, or in a summing up of the argu- 
ments, however powerful, by which they were supported. Yet 
that is all that commonly makes up the biography of a judge, 
unless he was something else than a judge. So, what is 
wanted in the case of Chief Justice Gray, and the same was 
eminently true of Chief Justice Shaw, is not so much a biog- 
raphy as a portrait, — such a portrait, if any one living could 
be found to achieve it, as that contributed to our proceedings 
by our lamented associate Judge Thomas, of his friend and 
associate Lemuel Shaw, — a sketch, in the judgment of the 
writer, not surpassed by anything of its kind in literature. 

The intellectual and moral qualities and the tastes which 
made Judge Gray eminent among the lawyers of Massachusetts 
and of the country, from the time of his admission to the bar 
until his death, came to him by lawful inheritance. 


Horace Gray was born in Boston, March 24, 1828. He was 
the son of Horace Gray and Harriet Upham, daughter of Jabez 
Upham, of Brookfield, Massachusetts, and the grandson of 
William Gray and his wife Elizabeth Chipman. 

Elizabeth Chipman was the daughter of John Chipman who 
was graduated at Harvard in 1738. He was a barrister in Essex 
County and died in Portland, then Falmouth, while arguing a 
case, in 1768. 

Elizabeth Chipman's brother was Ward Chipman, Judge of 
the Supreme Court of New Brunswick, who was graduated at 
Harvard in 1770 and died in 1824. The son of Ward Chip- 
man was graduated at Harvard in 1805, got his degree of LL.D. 
in 1836, and was Judge and Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court of New Brunswick. He died in 1851 without issue. 

William Gray was a very important figure in New England 
in the days just preceding and just following the War of 
1812. He was the largest ship-owner in the country, and 
nearly or quite the foremost and most successful merchant in 
New England. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts. 
He was a man apt to succeed in any undertaking in which he 
was engaged. Many anecdotes are still current of his wise 
and racy sayings. He acquired a great fortune, which he left 
to his children. 

His sons were, all of them, men of mark and influence in 

Horace Gray's father, Horace Gray the elder, was exten- 
sively engaged in business as a manufacturer. One of his 
uncles, Francis C. Gray, whose tastes and capacity for his- 
torical and legal research resembled his own, led a life of 
studious leisure. He had a high reputation as an accom- 
plished scholar. To him was owing the discovery of the 
precious Body of Liberties of Massachusetts, enacted in 1641. 
It had long disappeared from the knowledge of men, until by 
a fortunate accident Mr. Gray discovered the old manuscript, 
which his historic knowledge enabled him to identify. This 
code — which has been practically in force in Massachusetts 
from the time of its enactment until to-day — was not printed, 
but was sent about among the towns of Massachusetts in manu- 
script, that it might escape the knowledge of the Royal Coun- 
cillors in England and so not be disapproved by the Crown. 

On the mother's side Judge Gray was the grandson of 


Jabez Upham, one of the great lawyers of his day, who 
died in 1811, at the age of forty-six, after a brief service in 
the National House of Representatives. He was settled in 
Brookfield, Worcester County. The traditions of his great 
ability were fresh when I went there to live, nearly forty years 
after his death. The memory of the beauty and sweetness 
and delightful accomplishment of Mr. Upham's daughter, 
Judge Gray's mother, who died in the Judge's early youth, 
was still fragrant among the old men and women who had 
been her companions. She is mentioned repeatedly in the 
letters of that accomplished Scotch lady — friend of Walter 
Scott and of so many of the English and Scotch men of 
letters in her time — Mrs. Grant of Laggan. Mrs. Grant 
says in a letter published in her Memoir: "My failing mem- 
ory represents my short intercourse with Mrs. Gray as if some 
bright vision from a better world had come and, vanishing, 
left a trail behind." In another letter she speaks of the en- 
chantment of Mrs. Gray's character: "Anything so pure, so 
bright, so heavenly, I have rarely met with." 

Judge Gray married, June 4, 1889, Jane Matthews, 
daughter of the late Stanley Matthews, Associate Justice of 
the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Horace Gray was graduated from Harvard College in 1845 ; 
from the Harvard Law School in 1849; studied law with 
Sohier & Welch ; was admitted to the bar in 1851 ; performed 
the duties of Reporter of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts 
in behalf of Luther S. Cushing for a year or two during Mr. 
dialling's illness; was appointed Reporter to succeed Mr. 
dishing in 1854; held that office until 1861; practised law 
in partnership with Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar and Edward 
Bangs from 1857 to 1859, when that partnership was dis- 
solved by Mr. Hoar's appointment to the Supreme Court; 
continued in practice at the Suffolk bar until August, 1864 ; 
was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial 
Court of Massachusetts, August 23, 1864 ; Chief Justice of 
that Court, September 5, 1873; commissioned an Associate 
Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, December 
20, 1881. His oath of office as Associate Justice of the 
Supreme Court of the United States, by the operation of the 
Constitution of Massachusetts, vacated his office of Chief 
Justice, January 9, 1882. 


He was in his seat in the Supreme Court of the United 
States for the last time Monday, February 3, 1902. On the 
evening of that day he had a slight paralytic shock, which 
seriously affected his physical strength. He retained his 
mental strength and activity unimpaired until just before his 
death. On the 9th day of July, 1902, he sent his resignation 
to the President, to take effect on the appointment and qual- 
ification of his successor. So he died in office, September 15, 

He became a member of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society, April 11, 1858, and of the American Antiquarian 
Society, October 22, 1860. He was a candidate in the Mas- 
sachusetts State Convention of 1860 for the Republican nom- 
ination for Attorney-General, in competition with Charles 
Devens and D wight Foster. Mr. Foster was the successful 

Judge Gray's professional and judicial life came at the 
time of a radical change in the education of lawyers, as well 
as in the method of administering justice and the style and 
fashion of judicial opinions. The old lawyer and the old 
judge began his education by obtaining, as far as might be, a 
mastery of legal principles. In general his first inquiry was, 
if any legal problem were presented to him, if it were a ques- 
tion of common law, " What is the just general rule?" If it 
were the question of the construction of a statute, "What 
construction of the statute will make of it a just general 
rule ? " In applying the common law to any state of facts 
he took it for granted that the common law was the per- 
fection of reason, and that it contained what the experience 
of ages had found to be the most just and convenient rules 
of conduct for mankind in dealing wilh each other in matters 
concerning property, or reputation, or liberty, or life. When 
the student, or the counsellor at law, or the judge had made 
up his mind on that, he then considered the adjudged cases 
with the view of fortifying his own opinion by their authority. 
If he found them in conflict with that opinion, before yield- 
ing to them, he did his best to reconcile them with his idea 
of justice, to limit and restrict them as far as possible and, 
unless the current of authority were too strong, to get them 
overruled if they were wrong. The study of law was a 
study of ethics or moral philosophy. 


The Law School in Judge Gray's youth had, under Ashmun 
and Story and Greenleaf and Parker, been brought to a high 
standard of excellence. But still the chief law school was 
the court-house, and the best place to study was the office of 
a great practising lawyer. The art of conducting a trial, of 
convincing courts or juries, of putting in a case, the difficult 
art of cross-examination, the more difficult art of refraining 
from cross-examination were learned by great examples. It 
was always a good excuse for a young lawyer's absence from 
his office if there were a notice on his door, " At the Court 

The old teachers in the Law School taught their pupils 
according to the old system. It was indeed an admirable 
place for study. The youth sat at the feet of great men who 
had been great judges and great advocates and who had won 
great forensic successes. Story and Parker and Greenleaf 
fought over again the battles of the court-house and told the 
story of great victories which they had witnessed and which 
they had shared. The young men argued cases in the law 
clubs and in the Moot Court, over which these great judges 
presided. They breathed nothing but a legal atmosphere. 
They discussed legal questions at the table, at their boarding- 
house, in their long walks, and in visiting each other's rooms, 
where they sat up together sometimes until the constellations 
set, with the time-consuming habits of youth. In all this 
education the reasoning power was concerned with, and 
developed by, the consideration of general principles, and the 
adjudged cases played a comparatively small and secondary 

All this is changed now. I do not undertake here to deny 
that the change has not been necessary or that it has not been 
a change for the better. With the change Judge Gray, though 
never, I believe, a teacher of law, had much to do. Although 
he was brought up and educated under the old system, he is 
one of the very best examples of the new system. 

Mr. Gray never held a political office and, so far as I know, 
never took an active part in any political campaign. But he 
was profoundly interested in the great public questions with 
which the American people had to deal in his lifetime. There 
were among his near kindred, in his youth, men of great 
ability and high character, very influential and eminent leaders 


of the Whig Part} r . They were men especially likely to in- 
fluence a youth just coming to manhood, especially if he were 
brought within the circle of their personal influence. The 
social life of Boston and the scholarship of Cambridge were on 
that side. Yet Gray was an original Free Soiler. He had a 
high personal regard for Mr. Winthrop, with whom he had a 
family connection. But he voted steadfastly for John G. Pal- 
frey, whose candidacy was peculiarly repugnant to the Whigs, 
and to the high social circles in Boston and Cambridge, be- 
cause he had refused, when a Whig Representative, to support 
Mr. Winthrop for Speaker. The fires of those old controver- 
sies are all extinguished now. But it required great independ- 
ence and great courage for a young man like Gray, just 
coming into professional life in Boston, to take his part on that 
unpopular side. Gray never lost his interest in political affairs 
so long as he lived. Yet he carefully maintained the pro- 
priety and impartiality of his great judicial office. Nobody 
ever thought of him as a political judge. I suppose that if 
political or personal feeling or desire could have entered into 
such a question with him, it would have gratified him beyond 
measure if he could have found it in his power, as a judge, to 
have pronounced the action of the Government in regard to 
the Philippine Islands unlawful and unconstitutional. 

Horace Gray was graduated from Harvard at the age of 
seventeen. When in college he was not specially eminent as 
a scholar, but very early developed a taste for natural history. 
Pie was an excellent botanist, and might fairly be called a 
learned ornithologist. He visited Europe several times in his 
youth. I suppose that with his father's large wealth, which 
was employed in manufacture, it was the son's expectation to 
lead a life of elegant leisure, without anxiety as to his own 
livelihood, and in the pursuit of a refined scholarship. But 
the large establishments in which Mr. Gray's property was 
embarked were overtaken by financial reverses ; so his whole 
wealth, inherited and acquired by himself, was swept away. 

The son got the news in Europe and hurried home to 
meet the new conditions in a brave and manly way. He ex- 
changed his rare library of books on natural history for law 
books, and came out to Harvard and entered his name in the 
Harvard Law School. I can remember now his wistful face, 
full of curiosity and intelligence, as he appeared at the door 



of my room early one morning to find out, if lie could, what 
this, which was a new world to him, was all about. He threw 
himself into the study of the law with an untiring industry, 
begotten of deep enthusiasm. He soon took his place among 
the best scholars of the Law School, which was then full of 
the traditions of Story, who had just died, and of Greenleaf 
and Parker and the younger Parsons and Franklin Dexter, 
who were his instructors. 

His memory had been trained by his study as a naturalist to 
remember names which had in general no scientific connec- 
tion with the things they signified. From that, I suppose, 
came his wonderful capacity for remembering the names of 
cases, which used to seem in his younger days little less than 

Shortly after he was admitted to the bar, it happened that 
Mr. Luther S. Cushing, the reporter of the decisions of our 
Massachusetts Supreme Court, broke down in health. He 
employed Mr. Gray to go on the circuit with the Judges and 
report the decisions. So he, in fact, prepared the final vol- 
umes of Cushing's Reports. He had already acquired a great 
stock of learning for a man of his a2fe. Even then his wonder- 
fill capacity for research, the instinct which, when some inter- 
esting question of law was up, would direct his thumb and 
finger to some obscure volume of English reports of law or 
equity, was almost like the scent of a wild animal or bird of 
prey. He got acquainted on the circuit with all the great 
Massachusetts lawyers of that day — Choate and Curtis and 
Bartlett and Charles Allen and Loring. I suppose no other 
bar in the country, except that of the Supreme Court of the 
United States, could show their equals, and they had no 
superiors even there. When any one of these men was ar- 
guing or was waiting to argue a great case, the young reporter 
would often appear to him with a case which the counsel had 
not discovered, and was pat to the question. So, although he 
was hardly out of his boyhood, they all got to like him as a 
companion and to respect him as a lawyer. When Cushing 
died most of these leaders joined in a recommendation of Gray, 
who was then but twenty-six years old. 

That office in Massachusetts in those days was one of great 
honor and dignity. It would have been regarded as a promo- 
tion by any judge of any court but the highest. And the 


man who held it ranked almost as an equal with the Judges of 
the Supreme Court. Four of our reporters have been ap- 
pointed to that bench since I came to the bar. 

The duties of his office did not leave Mr. Gray a great deal 
of time for the active general practice of his profession. But 
he was employed on some very important commercial cases. 
He made several constitutional arguments in leading cases, and 
his advice was much trusted by business men. When the war 
broke out in 1861, Governor Andrew depended very largely 
upon Gray for legal advice in the very difficult and perplexing- 
questions with which he had to deal. He was full of re- 
sources, courageous, and his advice was always safe and sure. 

Immediately upon his admission to the bar, Mr. Gray took 
a place in the very front rank of his profession in the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts. He maintained it with a con- 
stantly increasing reputation until he was appointed to the 
bench. His name first appears as counsel before the full 
bench of the Supreme Court in Pond v. Williams, 1 Gray, 630, 
argued at Worcester, in the October term, 1854. His last 
appearance was in Wales v. China Insurance Company, 8 
Allen, 380, argued in Suffolk in January, 1864. Including 
these two, he argued thirty-one cases before the full court. 

These cases, with scarcely an exception, were cases of great 
importance by reason either of the amount involved or the 
character of the question. In nearly every one of them Mr. 
Gray was opposed by counsel of the very first rank, and in 
nearly every one of them he made the principal argument on 
his own side. In the first case in which he appeared he 
was, alone, opposed to Charles Allen, who, in the opinion 
of many persons, had no superior in his time in intellectual 
power. In the third of the cases he was opposed, alone, to 
Sidney Bartlett and C. B. Goodrich, and in the fourth and 
sixth to Rufus Choate. Among his antagonists in the thirty- 
one cases were Otis P. Lord, A. A. Ranney, Sidney Bartlett, 
B. R. Curtis, C. B. Goodrich, Benjamin F. Thomas, T. L. Kel- 
son, A. H. Fiske, I. F. Redfield, John Lowell, D wight Foster, 
and John H. Clifford. Any lawyer who will look at the 
names of the counsel employed in these cases will see that the 
young man must have been retained on the advice of experi- 
enced counsel who desired to get the best professional assist- 
ance to be had for their clients. 


The questions raised in all of them were of interest and 
importance. Dearborn v. Ames involved the construction and 
constitutionality of the law transferring the jurisdiction pre- 
viously invested in Commissioners of Insolvency who, under 
the Constitution, were required to be elected by the people at 
frequent periods, to Judges of Insolvency who, under the law 
creating that court, were to be appointed by the Governor 
and to hold office during good behavior. Whittenton Mills v. 
Upton, 10 Gray, 582, involved the question of the right of a 
corporation, established under the laws of Massachusetts, to 
form a partnership with an individual. 

Among the best examples of Mr. Gray's thorough historical 
and legal research are the notes and appendix to the cele- 
brated case of the Writs of Assistance relating to slavery in 
Massachusetts and the New England States, prepared by him 
in 1864 for Quincy's Reports, and the notes to the case of 
Commonwealth v. Roxbury, 9 Gray, 451, written in 1857. 
This latter exhausts the learning as to the title in this Com- 
monwealth to flats bounding on the shore of the Common- 
wealth and great ponds, the interest of the Commonwealth and 
the easement of the public therein. 

So it was natural when there came a vacancy on the Su- 
preme Bench in 1864 to offer it to him. He was, I think, the 
youngest judge who had ever been appointed to that court. 
He maintained fully and without any diminution the great 
traditions which had come down from Parsons and Shaw and 
Bigelovv, and their companions, — traditions which are as pre- 
cious to the people of the Commonwealth and of which they 
are as proud as they are of their Puritan or Pilgrim or Revolu- 
tionary history. 

The title which the kindness of our countrymen has given 
to Massachusetts, that of Model Commonwealth, I think has 
been earned largely by the character of her judiciary, and 
never could have been acquired without it. Among the great 
figures that have adorned that bench in the past, the figure of 
Judge Gray is among the most conspicuous and stately. 

Judge Gray had from the beginning a reputation for 
wonderful research. Nothing ever seemed to escape his in- 
dustry and profound learning. This was shown on a few 
occasions when he undertook some purely historical investiga- 
tion, as in his notes on the case of the Writs of Assistance, 


argued by James Otis and reported in Quincy's Reports, and 
his recent admirable address at Richmond, on Chief Justice 
Marshall. But while all his opinions are full of precedent 
and contain all the learning of the case, he was, I think, 
equally remarkable for the wisdom, good sense, and strength 
of his judgments. I do not think of any judge of his time 
an} r vvhere, either here or in England, to whom the profession 
would ascribe a higher place if he be judged only by the cor- 
rectness of his opinions in cases where there were no prece- 
dents on which to lean and for the excellent original reasons 
which he had to give. I think Judge Gray's fame, on the 
whole, would have been greater as a man of original power if 
he had resisted sometimes the temptation to marshal an array 
of cases, and had suffered his judgments to stand on his state- 
ment of legal principles without the authorities. He mani- 
fested another remarkable quality when he was on the bench 
of Massachusetts. He was an admirable Nisi Prius judge. I 
think we rarely have ever had a better. He possessed that 
faculty which made the jury, in the old days, so admirable a 
mechanism for performing their part in the administration of 
justice. He had the rare gift, especially rare in men whose 
training has been chiefly upon the bench, of discerning the 
truth of the fact in spite of the apparent weight of the evi- 
dence. The Supreme Court, in his time, had exclusive juris- 
diction of divorces and other matters affecting the marital 
relations. The judge had to hear and deal with transactions 
of humble life and of country life. It was surprising how 
this man, bred in a city, in high social position, having no 
opportunity to know the modes of thought and of life of 
poor men and of rustics, would settle these interesting and 
delicate questions, affecting so deeply the life of plain men 
and country farmers, and with what unerring sagacity he 
came to the wise and righteous result. 

The following account of Judge Gray's service upon the 
Supreme Court of Massachusetts has been kindly furnished 
for this memoir by Mr. Justice Loring : — 

Judge Gray was a remarkably accurate lawyer and a man who was 
remarkably accurate in statement; but the characteristic of his opinions 
is the abundance of learning with which they are written. They fairly 
teem with it. His opinions contain an unusually good collection of 
cases, not only in Massachusetts but also in other States of the Union 


and in England, and where the case admitted of it, a full statement of 
the history of the question. Where the history involved was that of 
the Colony or of the Province, he fairly revelled in pouring forth a 
wealth of quaint and antiquarian learning which make these opinions 
a matter of delight as well as of instruction. His first opinion (Pom- 
eroy v. Trimper, 8 Allen, 398) is characteristic of much of his subse- 
quent work. It is the first opinion of the full court for the September 
term in Berkshire, where he took his seat upon the bench. In it he 
discusses the question whether in replevin there must be an allegation 
of the value of the property replevied. He discusses the practice 
under the Massachusetts Colony, under the Plymouth Colony, and 
under the Province, bringing together a long collection of acts of the 
two Colonies, and of the Province. He notices the cases in which the 
value has been alleged and the connections in which the allegation 
might he important, although not necessary. After three pages of 
delightful and illuminating discussion, he points out that in the case 
under consideration the writ might have been amended, and that its 
omission was waived by a general rule of reference to referees, and 
therefore it was not necessary to decide the question. In the same case 
he disposes of the objection that a heifer was misdescribed as a cow by 
a case from the Year Book 26 H. VIII. , p. 6, pi. 27, in which such 
a writ was held good, " for it may be that it was a heifer at the time 
of taking out the replevin and that it is now a cow." 

The most surprising and almost incredible thing about Judge Gray's 
opinions is that, being written as if the days were forty-eight hours 
long, for him at any rate, he should have produced so many of them. 
During the nine years he was an associate justice he wrote 515 opinions, 
and during the eight years and four months that he was Chief Justice he 
wrote 852 opinions, making 1,367 opinions in seventeen years and four 
months. It is worthy of note that during the first eight of the nine 
years in which he wrote only 515 opinions, he wrote only three opinions 
less than his share, assuming that the share of the Chief Justice was 
no greater than that of an associate justice. During the last of these 
nine years a seventh justice was appointed in the middle of the year, 
and it would be difficult to make a comparison. The first year that he 
was Chief Justice he wrote 133 out of 484 opinions written by all 
seven justices, and during the next three years, 120 out of 427, 131 out 
of 415, and 105 out of 403, respectively, a good deal more than a quarter 
of all the opinions written during those four years, and making for those 
four years only 26 fewer opinions than were written by him during the 
nine preceding years. And this, too, when the court had not been 
relieved of its jurisdiction over actions of tort (as was done later by St. 
1880, c. 28) or of its jurisdiction in cases of divorce (as was subse- 
quently done by St. 1887, c. 332). That is to say, the Supreme Judicial 


Court at this time was a court having a general common-law jurisdic- 
tion (where the amount involved was sufficiently large) ; it was the 
only court of equity ; it was the only court for divorce, and it was 
the supreme court of probate. 

One cannot but ask how Judge Gray could have written such 
opinions and so many of them in addition to his duties outside of 
work on the full court. In the first place, Judge Gray was a good 
lawyer. He did not make mistakes. In the second place, his devotion 
to his profession was like that of a holy priest to his religion. Again, 
his strength for mental work was enormous, and he had a memory 
which was phenomenal, — a memory which went not only to the fact 
that a point of law had been decided, but to how it had been decided, 
the name of the case where it had been decided, and the volume where 
that case was to be found. And, last and not least, he was one of 
those very rare men who have the facility of reading a page almost at 
a glance. After the summer of 1875 he always worked with the assist- 
ance of a young lawyer as a clerk. But during two and one-half of 
the four years in which he produced the largest number of opinions, 
he worked without any assistance, and it was in the first of these two 
in which the greatest number were written. 

When the pressure of work outside of the full court is considered, 
it is almost incredible that Judge Gray should have written so many 
opinions, and so many opinions of the kind which he wrote. There 
are instances where a notable collection of cases is not accompanied 
by an analysis of them. Hill v. Boston, 1 22 Mass. 341 (itself a 
leading case), is an example of this. The wonder, however, is not 
that there are such cases, but, when all is considered, that there are 
not more of them. 

Judge Gray wrote but one dissenting opinion during the seventeen 
years that he was on the State bench. It was in the case of Hinckley 
v. Cape Cod Railroad, 120 Mass. 257, 260. Judge Marcus Morton, 
one of the best common-law judges who ever sat on the bench, concurred 
in this dissent. Judge Gray was a judge with strong convictions as to 
law, and one cannot but infer that the reason why more dissenting opin- 
ions were not written by him was because he persuaded his associates 
to his way of thinking. 

Weighed by the number of cases which stand out as landmarks, 
Judge Gray is in the front rank of the leaders. Saltonstall v. Sanders, 
11 Allen, 446, and Jackson v. Phillips, 14 Allen, 539, on charitable 
trusts, are perhaps the most notable. Before he came to the bench, 
he made the law of flats his own in his note to Commonwealth v. 
Roxbury, 9 Gray, 503, and followed this up in his opinions in Rich- 
ardson v. Boston, 13 Allen, 146, and Boston v. Richardson, 105 Mass. 
351. The cases of Briggs v. Light Boats, 11 Allen, 157 ; Coombs v. 


New Bedford Cordage Co., 102 Mass. 572; Richardson v. Sibley, 11 
Allen, 65; Bronson v. Coffin, 108 Mass. 175; Haskell v. New Bed- 
ford, 108 Mass. 208, and Hill v. Boston, 122 Mass. 344; Exchange 
Bank v. Rice, 98 Mass. 288; Waters v. Stickney, 12 Allen, 1 ; Green- 
field Savings Bank v. Stowell, 123 Mass. 196; Guild v. Butler, 127 
Mass. 386; Gorham v. Gross, 125 Mass. 232; Clapp v. Ingraham, 
126 Mass. 200; Low v. El well, 121 Mass. 309, are as familiar to the 
practising lawyer as household words. The difficulty is not in making 
this list, but in not making it too long for a notice of this kind. 

Outside of the full court, Judge Gray's chief service was in establish- 
ing the jurisdiction and practice in equity, in improving the details of 
practice and making it uniform in the several counties, and more than 
all in maintaining in the conduct of the business of the court the dignity 
which marks court proceedings in this Commonwealth. 

In 1864, when Judge Gray came on the bench, equity had been 
practised but little and the knowledge of it was scant. Judge Gray was 
an excellent judge on this side of the court. He took more than his 
share in equity sittings, and the minute oversight which he bestowed 
on the details of practice found in this new field an opportunity which 
has borne fruit for which the Commonwealth is much beholden. 

In matters of practice, on both sides of the court, Judge Gray was a 
leader, not a follower. He knew the principles and the application of 
practice thoroughly, and it is not too much to say that no detail was too 
minute for his watchful oversight or too uncommon for his knowledge. 
He looked after practice as he did after the reports when he was Chief 
Justice. I have been told by one who wa„s a reporter at the time 
that it was the custom of Judge Gray to read the proofs of all the 
opinions, and that he had the reporter leave proofs at his house as he 
went home at night, and call for them as he went to his office in the 

In the conduct of business in the court-room he was a strict disci- 
plinarian. At times some members of the bar were restive under his 
rule. But he mixed kindness with discipline, and the ensuing benefit 
is fully recognized to-day. 

And so it came to pass that when the place of Mr. Justice 
Clifford became vacant, by the almost universal consent of the 
New England Circuit, with the general approval of the pro- 
fession throughout the whole country, Mr. Justice Gray became 
his successor. 

The appointment was in fact made by President Arthur. 
In the spring of 1881, Mr. Justice Clifford, whose mental 
faculties had been seriously impaired, left Washington for his 
home in Maine. Before he left some of his family authorized 


the statement to be made to President Garfield that the 
Judge was going home, and that his resignation would come 
to Washington directly after his arrival there. This was well 
known to the members of the Senate from the New England 
Circuit, and to other persons interested in the appointment of 
a successor. President Garfield took up the matter with the 
expectation of making the appointment very soon. But when 
Mr. Justice Clifford reached home he was unwilling to take 
the step of resigning, and it is said, although his mental 
health was not in fact restored, that he declared his hope of 
resuming his duties again. General Garfield's death took 
place shortly afterward. That of Mr. Justice Clifford soon 

President Garfield desired me to furnish him with a collec- 
tion of what I thought were the Chief Justice's best opinions. 
I requested Judge Hoar, who had been Judge Gray's partner 
and who thought very highly of him indeed, to perform that 
service. He asked the Chief Justice if he would tell him what 
he regarded as his best and most important opinions. But 
Judge Gray suspected the motive of the request and declined 
to comply with it. He preferred, I have no doubt, to have 
absolutely nothing to do, directly or indirectly, with influ- 
encing his own selection to that great office. 

The appointment was received with almost universal satisfac- 
tion b} 7 the bar and bench throughout the country. I have 
good reason to know that it gave special pleasure to his breth- 
ren of the Supreme Court of the United States, all of whom 
knew his great ability and learning, and some of whom knew 
him well in private. 

The following statement of Mr. Justice Gray's service on 
the Supreme Court of the United States, by Hon. J. Hubley 
Ashton of the Bar of the District of Columbia, formerly asso- 
ciated with the late Attorney-General Hoar as Assistant 
Attorney-General, contains, as it seems to me, a biographical 
sketch of Judge Gray composed in a manner in which he him- 
self would have most delighted, and such a sketch as he himself 
would have made if it had been committed to him to perform 
the same task for any other great jurist. 

The service of Mr. Justice Gray in the Supreme Court of the 
United States extended from January 9, 1882, in October Term, 1881, 



when he took the oath of office as Associate Justice under his com- 
mission bearing date December 19, 1881, until his death on September 
15, 1902. During that period Chief Justice Waite and Chief Justice 
Fuller successively presided over the court, and the other Associate 
Justices at different times were Justices Miller, Field, Bradley, Hunt, 
Harlan, Woods, Matthews, Blatchford, Lamar, Brewer, Brown, Shiras, 
Jackson, White, Peckham, and McKenna. On January 30, 1882, he 
was allotted to the First Judicial Circuit, composed of Maine, New 
Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, which he always re- 
tained ; becoming when in attendance the head of the Circuit Court of 
Appeals for that circuit under the provisions of the Judiciary Act of 
March 3, 1891, known as the Evarts Act, which distributed the entire 
appellate jurisdiction of the national judicial system between the 
Supreme Court of the United States and the new Circuit Courts of 
Appeals, and made the judgments of the latter courts final except in 
extraordinary cases. He presided at the first meeting of the Circuit 
Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, at Boston, on June 16, 1891, 
sitting with Colt, Circuit Judge, and Nelson and Webb, District 
Judges, and took part in the hearing and decision of several of the 
first cases determined by that court. 

The opinions delivered by him from the bench of the Supreme Court 
of the United States during the term of his service there, are to be 
found in eighty-one volumes of the Reports of the court, from 101 
U. S. to 181 U. S. inclusive, and number some four hundred and 
fifty-one, including ten dissenting opinions in which he stated at length 
the grounds of his disagreement with the .majority of the court in 
important cases. In forty-one other cases, in which he dissented from 
the judgments of the court, he prepared or filed no opinions, simply 
stating the fact of his dissent or expressing his concurrence in the 
opinions delivered by other dissenting justices. 

It thus appears that during his twenty-odd years of service in the 
court he deemed it necessary or proper to announce publicly his 
dissent from the judgments rendered by it in fifty-nine cases only. 
This is a small proportion of dissents, as the cases adjudged by the 
court upon reasoned opinions during that period numbered several 
thousands. It was probably his rule, where he disagreed with the 
majority of his brethren, not to announce his dissent except in cases 
of general interest, and to prepare opinions stating at length the 
grounds of his disagreement only in cases of public importance. 

The opinions delivered by him for the majority of the court in the 
prize case of The Paquete Habana, 175 U. S. 677 (1899), and the case 
of Hilton v. Guyot, 159 U. S. 113 (1891), are among the most learned 
and noteworthy of his writings, and among the most memorable judg- 
ments in the books on great questions of international jurisprudence. 


In The Paquete Habana it was determined by the court that at the 
present day, by the general consent of the civilized nations of the 
world, and independently of any express treaty or other public act, it 
is an established rule of international law, founded on considerations 
of humanity to a poor and industrious order of men, and of the mutual 
convenience of belligerent states, that coast fishing vessels, with their 
implements and supplies, cargoes and crews, unarmed and honestly 
pursuing their peaceful calling of catching and bringing in fresh fish, 
are exempt from capture as prize of war. 

The opinion of Mr. Justice Gray is a profound study of a difficult 
and most interesting question in the modern law of maritime prize 
in view of the just and humane sentiments of civilized nations in our 
times, and containing as it does the body of the public jurisprudence 
on the subject, this judgment must find a place in any future collec- 
tion of leading cases on International Law. 

The case of Hilton v. Guyot, argued three times at the bar, in- 
volved important questions of private international law relating to the 
force and effect of foreign judgments not theretofore adjudicated by 
the Supreme Court of the United States, and his opinion, with that of 
the dissenting justices, has been included in the third volume of Pro- 
fessor Beale's valuable " Selection of Cases on the Conflict of Laws," 
containing the leading authorities on the subject of the recognition and 
enforcement of rights. 

In this reference to some of the noteworthy judgments of Mr. 
Justice Gray on questions of international law, may be mentioned the 
elaborate dissenting opinion delivered by him at October Term, 1901, 
in the important case of Tucker v. Alexandroff, 183 U. S. 424, 449, 
in whicli he expressed his view that the authorities of the United 
States had no power, under the treaty with Russia of 1832 or other- 
wise, to surrender the appellee as a deserter from the Variag under 
construction for the Russian Government at Philadelphia. 

" The treaties of the United States with Russia and with most of the 
nations of the world," he said, " must be considered as defining and lim- 
iting the authority of the Government of the United States to take active 
steps for the arrest and surrender of deserting seamen. These treaties 
must be construed so as to carry out, in the utmost good faith, the 
stipulations therein made with foreign nations. But neither the exec- 
utive nor the judiciary of the United States has authority to take 
affirmative action, beyond the fair scope of the provisions of the treaty, 
to subject persons within the territory of the United States to the 
jurisdiction of another nation." 

The judgment delivered by him for the majority of the court in the 
great case of United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U. S. 649 (1897), 
and his judgments for the whole court in the leading cases of Van 


Brocklin v. State of Tennessee, 117 U. S. 151 (1885), Jones v. United 
States, 137 U. S. 202 (1890), Shively v. Bowlby, 152 U. S. 1 
(1893) and Belknap v. Shield, 161 U. S. 10 (1895), are among the 
most interesting of his opinions in important cases involving general 
questions of constitutional law. 

The case of United States v. Wong Kim Ark presented a momentous 
question in the public law of the United States respecting the source 
and foundation of the principles of American nationality, and the in- 
terpretation and effect of that clause of the Fourteenth Amendment 
of the Constitution which declares that " all persons born or naturalized 
in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens 
of the United States and of the States wherein they reside." 

It was adjudged by the Court that under the Constitution a child born 
in the United States of parents of Chinese descent, who at the time of 
his birth are subjects of the Emperor of China, but have a permanent 
domicile and residence in the country, and are there carrying on busi- 
ness, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity un- 
der the Government of China, becomes, when born, a citizen of the 
United States. 

The case of Van Brocklin v. Tennessee finally determined that all 
property of the United States is absolutely exempt by the Constitution 
from taxation under the authority of any State without the consent of 
the United States. 

The judgment in Jones v. United States sustained the constitution- 
ality of the Guano Islands Act of August 16, 1856, c. 164, and affirmed 
the validity of a conviction in the District 'Court of the United States 
for the District of Maryland for a murder committed at the Island 
of Navassa. 

The opinion in Shively v. Bowlby is an exhaustive treatment of the 
subject of the rights of the States of the Union in the tide waters 
and the lands under them, within their respective jurisdictions, and 
adjudged that a donation claim bounded by the Columbia River, 
acquired under the Act of Congress of September 27, 1850, c. 76, 
while Oregon was a Territory, passed no title or right in lands below 
high-water mark, as against a subsequent grant from the State of 
Oregon, pursuant to its statutes. 

In Belknap v. Shield it was finally adjudged by the court that 
officers and agents of the United States, although acting under order 
of the United States, are personally liable to be sued for their own 
infringement of a patent. 

The opinion delivered by Mr. Justice Gray in that case contains 
a careful statement of the decision in United States v. Lee, hereinafter 
referred to, in which he dissented from the opinion of the majority 
of the court. 


It is difficult to discriminate and select, where there is such wealth 
of material, for the purpose of the present statement, but the most 
noteworthy, perhaps, of his later judgments for the court in cases 
involving general and important questions of constitutional law, are 
those he delivered in Atherton v. Atherton, 181 U. S. 155 (1900), 
and Bell v. Bell, ib. 175, which conclusively determined that no 
valid divorce from the bond of matrimony can be decreed on construe- 
tive service by the courts of a State in which neither party to the suit 
is domiciled; Carter v. Texas, 177 U. S. 442 (1899), declaring that 
whenever, by any action of a State, whether through its legislature, its 
courts, or its executive or administrative officers, persons of the African 
race are excluded solely because of their race or color from serving as 
grand jurors in the prosecution of a person of that race for crime, the 
equal protection of the laws is denied to him, contrary to the Four- 
teenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States; and 
Capital Traction Company v. Hof, 174 U. S. 1 (1898), where he 
elaborately examined the whole subject of " trial by jury" at the 
common law, in the American constitutions, and as secured by the 
Seventh Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. 

In the important case of Illinois Central Railroad v. Illinois, 146 
U. S. 387, 464 (1892), he concurred in the dissenting opinion of Mr. 
Justice Shiras declaring " that the ownership of a State in the lands 
underlying its navigable waters is as complete, and its power to make 
them the subject of conveyance and grant is as full, as such ownership 
and power to grant in the case of the other public lands of the 

He delivered an interesting dissenting opinion in United States v. 
Rodgers, 150 U. S. 249, 266 (1893), expressing his view that the open 
waters of the Great Lakes are not " high seas " within the meaning of 
sec. 5346 of the Revised Statutes of the United States on which the 
indictment in that case was founded, although " within the admiralty 
jurisdiction of the United States" under the decision in The Genesee 
Chief, and Congress had undoubted power to punish crimes on Ameri- 
can vessels, wherever they may float. 

One of the most elaborate of his constitutional opinions is his dissent 
of seventy-one pages, concurred in by Mr. Justice Shiras, in the im- 
portant case of Sparf and Hansen v. United States, 156 U. S. 51, 110 
(1894), in which he maintained that by the instructions of the court 
to the jury the defendants on trial in the Circuit Court of the United 
States for murder on the high seas, were deprived of their right to have 
the jury decide the law involved in the general issue. 

" The jury," he said, " must ascertain the law as well as they can. 
Usually they will, and safely may, take it from the instructions of the 
court. But if they are satisfied in their consciences that the law is 


other than as laid down to them by the court, it is their right and their 
duty to decide the law as they know or believe it" (p. 172). 

He concurred, with Mr. Justice White, in the dissenting opinion 
written by Mr. Justice Shiras in the important case of Brown v. Walker, 
161 U. S. 591, 610 (1895), to the effect that the Fifth Amendment of 
the Constitution, declaring that no person should be compelled in any 
criminal case to be a witness against himself, intended not merely that 
every person should have such indemnity, but that his right thereto 
should not be divested or impaired by any Act of Congress, and that 
the provision of the Act of February 11, 1893, c. 83, involved in 
that case, was void because incompatible with this great constitutional 

The strong views held by Mr. Justice Gray in regard to the sover- 
eignty of the United States, and its relation to the citizen, early ap- 
peared in his well-known dissenting opinion in the celebrated case of 
United States v. Lee, 106 U. S. 196, 223 (1882), which was the first 
important opinion delivered by him from the bench of the Supreme 
Court. The majority of the court having affirmed the jurisdiction of 
the Circuit Court below to try the question of the validity of the title 
of the United States to the Arlington estate, in Virginia, under a sale 
for direct taxes by the Commissioners appointed under the Act of Con- 
gress of June 7, 1862, ch. 98, in an action of ejectment against the 
officers and agents of the United States in possession and occupation of 
the premises, Mr. Justice Gray, with Chief Justice Waite, and Justices 
Bradley and Woods, dissented upon the grounds that the action was 
in legal effect a suit against the United States as sovereign, that the 
fundamental maxim of public law exempting the sovereign from being 
impleaded without its consent, is not limited to a monarchy, but is of 
equal force in a republic, and applies to the United States as well as 
to the Crown of Pmgland, and that to maintain the action was to en- 
croach upon the powers of the legislative and executive departments of 
the government. 

This opinion is the more noteworthy as it was the doctrinal precursor 
in a measure of his celebrated opinion, at the next term, in the most 
important case that had ever been in the court since the foundation of 
the government, the case of Juilliard v. Greenman, known as the Legal 
Tender Case, 110 U. S. 421 (1883), in which it was finally adjudged 
that Congress has the constitutional power to make the treasury notes 
of the United States a legal tender in payment of private debts, in time 
of peace as well as in time of war, and that under the Act of May 31, 
1878, ch. 146, providing that when any United States legal tender 
notes may be redeemed and received into the treasury tbey shall be 
reissued and paid out again, notes so reissued are a legal tender. 

This was the last of the great legal tender litigations, and the de- 


cision no doubt carried the implied powers of Congress under the 
Constitution beyond any point theretofore reached by the court in its 

" Congress," said Mr. Justice Gray, "as the legislature of a sovereign 
nation, being expressly empowered by the Constitution 'to lay and 
collect taxes, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and 
general welfare of the United States,' and ' to borrow money on the 
credit of the United States,' and ' to coin money and regulate the value 
thereof and of foreign coin ' ; and being clearly authorized, as incidental 
to the exercise of those great powers, to emit bills of credit, to charter 
national banks, and to provide a national currency for the whole people, 
in the form of coin, treasury notes, and national bank bills ; and the 
power to make the notes of the government a legal tender in payment 
of private debts being one of the powers belonging to sovereignty in 
other civilized nations, and not expressly withheld from Congress by 
the Constitution ; we are irresistibly impelled to the conclusion that the 
impressing upon the treasury notes of the United States the quality of 
being a legal tender in payment of private debts is an appropriate 
means, conducive and plainly adapted to the execution of the undoubted 
powers of Congress, consistent with the letter and spirit of the Consti- 
tution, and, therefore, within the meaning of that instrument, 'necessary 
and proper for carrying into execution the powers vested by this Con- 
stitution in the Government of the United States.'" 

The opinion, as is well known, was concurred in by Chief Justice 
Waite, and all the other Associate Justices except Mr. Justice Field. 

The same general constitutional doctrine in respect to the powers of 
the United States, as a nation among nations, lies at the foundation of 
his opinion in Nishimura Ekiu v. United States, 142 U. S. 651 (1891), 
affirming the validity of the Act of March 3, 1891, c. 551, forbidding 
certain classes of alien immigrants to land in the United States, and 
of his judgment for the majority of the court in the leading Chinese 
Deportation Cases, reported as Fong Yue Ting v. United States, 149 
U. S. 698 (1892), which upheld the constitutionality of the Act of Con- 
gress of May 5, 1892, ch. 60, known as the Geary Act, as a law for 
the expulsion from the country of certain resident Chinese aliens, upon 
the ground that the right to exclude or expel aliens, or any class of 
aliens, in war or in peace, is an inherent and inalienable right of every 
sovereign and independent nation, and in the United States is vested 
in the political department of the National Government, and may be 
exercised entirely through executive officers, or Congress may call in 
the aid of the judiciary to ascertain any contested fact on which an 
alien's right to be in the country has been made by Congress to depend. 

Chief Justice Fuller and Justices Field and Brewer dissented in 
separate and extended opinions from the judgments of the court in the 


latter cases. Mr. Justice Harlan, being absent abroad, took no part 
in the hearing and decision of the cases, although the fact appears not 
to be mentioned by the Reporter. 

It may be proper to classify with the judgments of Mr. Justice Gray 
in these great constitutional cases, with respect to the sovereignty of 
the United States and its powers of government under the Constitution, 
his very brief opinions in the so-called Insular Cases, in which he 
affirmed the constitutionality of the Foraker Act of April 12, 1900, 
ch. 191, in respect to the system of duties established by the Act for 
Porto Rico, and dissented from the ruling in De Lima v. Bidwell, and 
Fourteen Diamond Rings v. United States, as to the status of that 
island, and the Philippine Islands, after and in consequence of the 
ratification of the Treaty of Peace between the United States and Spain, 
April 11, 1899. 182 U. S. 344 (1900), 183 U. S. 185 (1901). As 
stated in his short opinion of two pages and a half in Downes v. Bid- 
well respecting the Foraker Act, he agreed "in substance" with the 
elaborate opinion delivered by Mr. Justice White in that important 
case. He also concurred in the dissenting opinion of Mr. Justice White 
in Dooley v. United States, 182 U. S. 236 (1900), that the right to 
exact duties upon imports from New York to Porto Rico did not cease 
with the ratification of the Treaty of Paris. 

He delivered the judgment of the court in Logan v. United States, 
144 U. S. 263 (1891), reaffirming the doctrine of the case of Neagle, 
135 U. S. 1, that " every right, created by, arising under, or dependent 
upon, the Constitution of the United States, may be protected and en- 
forced by Congress by such means and in such manner as Congress, in 
the exercise of the correlative duty of protection, or of the legislative 
powers conferred upon it by the Constitution, may in its discretion 
deem most eligible and best adapted to attain the object." 

"The United States," he said, " are bound to protect against lawless 
violence all persons in their service or custody in the course of the ad- 
ministration of justice. This duty and the correlative right of protection 
are not limited to the magistrates and ofhvers charged with expounding 
and executing the laws, but apply, with at least equal force, to those 
held in custody on accusation of crime, and deprived of all means of 

The doctrine was again affirmed by him, speaking for the court, in 
the case of Quarles and Butler, Petitioners, 158 U. S. 532 (1894), 
where he declared : " The United States are a nation, whose powers of 
government, legislative, executive, and judicial, within the sphere of 
action confided to it by the Constitution, are supreme and paramount." 

It may be proper to mention, in this connection, that he was one of 
the majority of the court in the decision of Pollock v. Farmers' Loan 
and Trust Company, 157 U. S. 429, 158 U. S. 601 (1894), which 


declared the Income Taxes imposed by the Act of August 15, 1894, 
unconstitutional, and no doubt concurred in the reasoning of the opin- 
ions of the court, delivered by Chief Justice Fuller, in that celebrated 

While he entertained strong views in regard to the sovereignty and 
powers of the National Government, Mr. Justice Gray, as his judicial 
writings show, upheld with a firm and no uncertain hand the legislation 
of the States in regard to the subjects deemed by him within their juris- 
diction and authority under the powers reserved to them by the Consti- 
tution of the United States. 

He concurred, with Chief Justice Waite, in the dissenting opinion of 
Mr. Justice Bradley in Wabash, etc. Railway Company v. Illinois, 118 
U. S. 557 (1886), that in the absence of congressional legislation a 
State legislature possesses the power to regulate the charges made by 
the railroads of the State for transporting goods and passengers to and 
from places in the State, when such goods or passengers are brought 
from, or carried to, points without the State, and are therefore in 
the course of transportation from another State, or to another State, 
although such a regulation incidentally operates to a certain extent as 
a regulation of interstate commerce. 

He also concurred in the dissenting opinion of Mr. Justice Bradley 
in Chicago, etc. Railway Co. v. Minnesota, 131 U. S. 418 (1889), in 
favor of the constitutionality of the Minnesota Statute of 1887, regu- 
lating, through a railroad commission, the rates of charges on railways, 
as not depriving the company of its property without due process of 
law or denying it the equal protection of the laws. 

He also dissented, with Chief Justice Fuller and Mr. Justice 
McKenna, from the judgment of the majority of the court in Lake 
Shore, etc. Railway Company v. Smith, 173 U. S. 684 (1898), declaring 
invalid an Act of the State of Michigan which required railroad com- 
panies to keep for sale at a price not exceeding a certain sum one 
thousand mile tickets that should be valid for a prescribed time, as 
in violation of the rights of the companies under the Constitution of 
the United States. 

At October Term, 1895, Mr. Justice Gray delivered the unanimous 
opinion of the court in Illinois Central Railroad Company v. Illinois, 
163 U. S. 142, declaring unconstitutional the statute of Illinois, there 
involved, in its application to that company, as directly burdening in- 
terstate commerce, and obstructing the passage of the mails of the 
United States. 

At the next term he delivered the judgment of the court in Gladson 
v. Minnesota, 166 U. S. 427 (1896), holding that a statute of that 
State requiring all regular passenger trains, running wholly in the 
State, to stop at stations at all county seats through which they might 



pass, was a lawful exercise of the police power of the Legislature, and 
not a regulation of interstate commerce. 

He was one of the majority of the court in the decision of the later 
and important case of Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway 
Company v. Ohio, 173 U. S. 285 (1898), which sustained the legis- 
lation of the State of Ohio requiring every railroad company to stop 
a certain number of its passenger trains at stations containing three 
thousand inhabitants, as not repugnant to the Constitution when 
applied to interstate trains carrying interstate commerce. 

Such legislation he did not regard as directly burdening or imped- 
ing interstate traffic, or impairing the usefulness of facilities for such 

In St. Louis & San Francisco Railway Company v. Matthews, 165 
U. S. 1 (1896), he wrote the elaborate opinion of the court sustaining 
the Missouri Statute of 1887 making every railroad corporation owning 
or operating a railway in the State responsible in damages for property 
of any person destroyed or injured by fire communicated by its locomo- 
tive engines, as a valid exercise of the police power of the State. 

In his well-known dissenting opinion in the leading case of Leisy v. 
Hardin, 135 U. S. 100 (1889), Mr. Justice Gray affirmed the validity 
of a statute of Iowa prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors, except 
for limited purposes under State license, as applied to a sale by the im- 
porter, in the original packages, of such liquors manufactured in and 
brought from another State, against the judgment of the court, deliv- 
ered by the Chief Justice, which treated the early case of Peirce v. 
New Hampshire, 5 Howard, 504, decided in. 1847, as overruled. 

" Congress," he said, "cannot regulate this subject under the police 
power, because that power has not been conceded to Congress, but re- 
mains in the several States ; nor under the commercial power, without 
either prescribing a general rule unsuited to the nature and require- 
ments of the subject, or else departing from that uniformity of regula- 
tion which it was the object of the commercial clause of the Constitution 
to secure." 

After the decision in Leisy v. Hardin, and, perhaps, in consequence 
of the dissent, in that case, Congress passed the Act of August 8, 
1890, ch. 728, commonly known as the Wilson Act, providing that 
all intoxicating liquors transported into any State, in the original 
packages or otherwise, should upon arrival be subject to the operation 
of its laws in the exercise of its police power. 

He concurred in the judgment of reversal in Rahrer's Case, 140 
U. S. 545 (1890), which affirmed the validity of the Wilson Act, though 
not in all the reasoning of the opinion of the Chief Justice. 

The history of the adjudications, iu these important cases, was re- 
viewed by him in his dissenting opinion in Rhodes v. Iowa, 170 U. S. 


412 (1897), the judgment in which appeared to him to deny due effect 
to the police power, reserved to each State by the Constitution of the 
United States, and recognized by Congress, in the Wilson Act, which 
he was in favor of maintaining. He said, in that case : " The question 
whether the power of Congress to regulate commerce with foreign 
nations and among the several States is exclusive, or only paramount, 
was a subject of much diversity of opinion from an early period until 
1851, when this court, speaking by Mr. Justice Curtis, in Cooley v. 
Board of Wardens, 12 Howard, 299, laid down this principle: When 
the nature of the particular subject in question is such as to demand a 
single uniform rule, operating equally throughout the United States, 
the power of Congress is exclusive ; but when the subject is of such a 
nature as to require different systems of regulation, drawn from local 
knowledge or experience, and conformed to local wants, it may be the 
subject of State legislation so long as Congress has not legislated. The 
principle there laid down has become fully recognized and established 
in our jurisprudence. Transportation Co. v. Parkersburg, 107 U. S. 
691, 704; Crandall v. Nevada, 6 Wall. 35, 42; Mobile County v. 
Kimball, 102 U. S. 691, 701. 

" Wherever, from the nature of the subject, the power of Congress 
to regulate commerce is exclusive, the several States, of course, cannot 
legislate, even if there has been no legislation by Congress ; or, as the 
proposition has been stated in another form, ' where the power of Con- 
gress to regulate is exclusive, the failure of Congress to make express 
regulations indicates its will that the subject shall be left free from any 
restrictions or impositions ; and any regulation of the subject by the 
States, except in matters of local concern only, is repugnant to such 
freedom.' Bobbins v. Shelby Taxing District, 120 U. S. 489, 493. 

"The theory that the bringing of intoxicating liquors from one 
State into another, and the selling of them there in the packages in 
which they had been introduced, are subjects requiring to be regulated 
by a national and uniform rule, and therefore within the exclusive 
power of Congress, and wholly free from State legislation, was not 
broached by any member of the court before the cases of Bowman v. 
Chicago and Northwestern Railway, 125 U. S. 465, and Leisy v. 
Hardin, 135 U. S. 100." 

This is his own clear and comprehensive statement of his constitu- 
tional doctrine on the subject of the power of Congress to regulate 
interstate commerce. 

At October Term, 1890, he dissented from the judgment of the court 
by Mr. Justice Bradley in Crutcher v. Kentucky, 141 U. S. 47, declar- 
ing void a law of Kentucky requiring from the agent of every express 
company, not incorporated by the State, a license before he could carry 
on any business for the company in the State, as a regulation of inter- 


state commerce, and not a regulation in the fair exercise of the police 
power of the State. 

He delivered, in 1894, the elaborate judgment of the court in Emert 
v. Missouri, 156 U. S. 296, affirming the validity of a statute of Mis- 
souri compelling itinerant peddlers to take out licenses. 

At the same term he was one of the majority of the court in the 
decision of the case of Plumley v. Massachusetts, 155 U. S. 461, which 
sustained the Massachusetts statute of March 10, 1891, ch. 58, to pre- 
vent deception in the manufacture and sale of "imitation butter," in 
its application to the sales of oleomargarine artificially colored so as to 
cause it to look like butter, and brought into the State, as not in conflict 
with the commercial clause of the Constitution of the United States. 

He dissented from the judgment of the majority of the court in the 
oleomargarine case of Schollenberger v. Pennsylvania, 171 U. S. 25 
(1897), which pronounced invalid an Act of the Legislature of Penn- 
sylvania to the extent that it prohibited the introduction of oleomarga- 
rine from another State and its sale in the original packages, and 
declared his opinion that " each State may, in the exercise of its police 
power, without violating the provisions of the Constitution and laws of 
the United States, concerning interstate commerce, make such regula- 
tions relating to all sales of oleomargarine within the State, even in 
original packages brought from another State, as the Legislature of the 
State may deem necessary to protect the people from being induced to 
purchase articles, either not fit for food, or differing in nature from what 
they purport to be; and that, if the Legislature is satisfied that oleo- 
margarine is unwholesome, or that in the tubs or packages in which it 
is commonly offered for sale it looks so like butter that the only way to 
protect the people against injury to health in the one case or against 
fraud or deception in the other, is to absolutely prohibit its sale, it is 
within the constitutional power of the Legislature to do so." And in 
the, next case of Collins v. New Hampshire, ib. 30, he expressed his 
dissent from the decision of the majority of the court adjudging to be 
invalid a statute of that State which prohibited the sale of oleomargarine 
as a substitute for butter, unless it was of a pink color, upon the ground 
that the statute was in contravention of the commerce clause of the 
Constitution of the United States. 

He delivered the prevailing opinion in Pullman's Car Company v. 
Pennsylvania, 141 U. S. 18 (1890), which affirmed the power of the 
State of Pennsylvania to tax a proportion of the capital stock of the 
Pullman's Car Company, an Illinois corporation, as not in derogation of 
the commercial power of Congress, under the general principles that the 
legislative power of every State extends to all property within its 
borders, and that only so far as the comity of that State allows can 
such property be affected by the law of any other State. 


He also delivered the judgment of the majority of the court in Mas- 
sachusetts v. Western Union Telegraph Company, 141 U. S. 40 (1890), 
sustaining the legislation of the State of Massachusetts imposing a tax, 
which, though nominally upon the shares of the capital stock of the 
Telegraph Company, was in effect a tax upon the company on account 
of property owned and used by it in Massachusetts, as not in violation 
of the Constitution or the rights conferred upon the corporation by the 
National Telegraph Act of July 24, 1866, ch. 230. 

He composed one of the majority of the judges in the determination 
of the important cases of Adams Express Company v. Ohio, 165 U. S. 
194 (1896), and Adams Express Company v. Kentucky, 166 U. S. 171 
(1896), which upheld the schemes of State taxation in respect to the 
property of the Express Company, there involved, as not in contra- 
vention of the Constitution. 

In the great cases of United States v. Trans-Missouri Freight Asso- 
ciation, 166 U. S. 290 (1896), and United States v. Joint Traffic 
Association, 171 U. S. 505 (1898), under the so-called Trust Act of 
July 2, 1890, Mr. Justice Gray dissented from the judgments of the 
majority of the court, and concurred in the dissenting opinion of Mr. 
Justice White, in the first of those cases, that the words " restraint of 
trade," in the Act, only embraced contracts which unreasonably restrain 
trade, and that the statute was not intended to interfere with the con- 
trol and regulation of railroads under the Interstate Commerce Act or 
with acts of the companies which had theretofore been recognized as in 
conformity to and not in conflict with that Act. 

The judgment delivered by him in Head v. Amoskeag Manufacturing 
Company, 113 U. S. 9 (1884), one of his early constitutional cases, 
sustained the general mill Act of the State of Massachusetts, authoriz- 
ing lands to be flowed in invitum for the maintenance of mills, as not 
in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. 

The last of his important judgments was delivered in Nutting v. 
Massachusetts, 183 U. S. 553 (1901), in which he upheld as consti- 
tutional the rigorous penal provisions of the statute of Massachusetts 
designed to prevent foreign insurance companies from doing business 
within the limits of the State except upon such conditions as the State 
by the Act had prescribed. 

It should be mentioned, in this connection, that he was one of the 
majority in the decision of the last case during his term of service in- 
volving the subject of the police power of the States and the power of 
Congress over interstate commerce, in which the court was divided, 
namely, Austin v. Tennessee, 179 U. S. 343 (1900), where it was 
held that it is within the province of a State legislature to declare how r 
far cigarettes may be sold, or to prohibit their sale entirely, after they 
have been taken from the original packages or have left the hands of 


the importer, if there be no discrimination against those imported from 
other States, and the Act is plainly designed for the protection of the 
public health, as the Tennessee Act under examination was adjudged 
to be. The Chief Justice, with Justices Brewer, Shiras, and Peckhara, 
dissented from the opinion and decision of the court. In any view 
of that case, there would appear to be nothing in the decision itself 
inconsistent, at least, with the principles of the dissenting opinions of 
Mr. Justice Gray in Leisy v. Hardin, and Rhodes v. Iowa, which have 
been referred to, and it is not improbable that he voted for the affirm- 
ance of the judgment of the Supreme Court of Tennessee as right 
according to those principles. 

It is manifest, from this brief review of his constitutional opinions, 
that it was the doctrine of Mr. Justice Gray that the Constitution, in 
all its provisions, looks to a sovereign nation composed of sovereign 

He delivered, it may be mentioned, the opinions of the Supreme 
Court in a number of cases involving important questions relating to its 
original and appellate jurisdiction, which were evidently prepared with 
the care appropriate to the subject. 

In Wisconsin v. Pelican Insurance Company, 127 U. S. 265 (1887), 
he comprehensively reviewed the adjudications of the court respecting 
the nature and extent of its original jurisdiction under the Constitution, 
and announced its decision that this jurisdiction did not embrace an 
action by a State upon a judgment recovered by it in one of its own 
courts against a citizen or a corporation of another State for a pecuniary 
penalty for a violation of its municipal law. , 

The opinions delivered by him in New Orleans Waterworks v. 
Louisiana Sugar Company, 125 U. S. 18, and Central Land Company 
v. Laidley, 159 U. S. 103, are among the leading authorities in the 
books on the subject of the extent of the appellate jurisdiction of the 
Supreme Court of the United States to review the judgments of 
the highest courts of the States under that clause of the Constitu- 
tion which protects the obligation of contracts against impairment by 
any State " law." 

During his period of service on the Supreme Bench, Mr. Justice 
Gray delivered judgments in a number of leading cases within the ad- 
miralty and maritime jurisdiction of the court, which possess in a 
marked degree the best qualities of his judicial writings, perfect clear- 
ness of thought, precision of statement, and accuracy of learning, and 
which seem to disclose his well-known fondness for the department of 
jurisprudence embraced by that jurisdiction. 

Some of his noteworthy admiralty opinions, to mention a few only, 
will be found in The Potomac, 105 U. S. 630 (1881) ; Phoenix Insur- 
ance Company v. Erie Transportation Company, 117 U. S. 312 (1885); 


Liverpool Steamship Company v. Phenix Insurance Company, The 
Montana, 129 U. S. 397 (1883); The J. E. Rumbell, 148 U. S. 1 
(1892) ; Ralli v. Troop, 157 U. S. 386 (1894) ; The John G. Stevens, 
170 U. S. 113 (1897) ; The Silvia, 171 U. S. 462 (1898) ; Grossman 
v. Burrill, 179 U. S. 100 (1900); Knotty Botany Mills, The Por- 
tuguese Prince, 179 U. S. 69 (1900). 

It was finally determined by the Supreme Court in one of the most 
important of these cases, Liverpool Steamship Company v. Phenix 
Insurance Company, known as The Montana, that the general maritime 
law is in force in this country as far only as it has been adopted by the 
laws and usages thereof, and that a contract of affreightment in an 
American port by an American shipper with an English steamship 
company, doing business there, for the shipment of goods there and 
their carriage to and delivery in England, the freight being payable in 
English currency, is an American contract governed by American law 
in respect to the effect of a stipulation exempting the carrier from re- 
sponsibility for negligence of his agents in the course of the voyage. 

One of the most interesting opinions in the books on the admiralty 
jurisdiction was delivered by him in The Glide, 167 U. S. 606 (1896), 
where the court reversed a judgment of the Supreme Judicial Court of 
Massachusetts, and determined that the enforcement in rem of the lien 
upon a vessel, created by the statutes of that State, for repairs and sup- 
plies in her home port, is exclusively within the admiralty and maritime 
jurisdiction of the courts of the United States. 

Mr. Justice Gray, it should be mentioned, dissented in an elaborate 
opinion from the judgment in Workman v. New York City, etc., 179 
U. S. 552, 574 (1900), where it was determined by the majority of the 
court that a libel in admiralty in personam could be maintained against 
the City of New York for an injury to a vessel lying in a dock from 
being run into by a fire-boat, owned by the city, through negligence of 
members of its fire department, while engaged in the performance 
of their official duties. With Justices Brewer, Shiras, and Peckham 
he was unable to concur in the reasoning of the opinion of Mr. 
Justice White in that interesting and important case. He thought that 
a libel in admiralty could not be maintained, as for a tort, upon a cause 
of action on which, by the law prevailing throughout the country, 
no action at law could be sustained. 

One of the very last of his important opinions, as may be mentioned 
in this connection, was in the leading case of Homer Ramsdell Com- 
pany v. La Compagnie Generate Transatlantique, 182 U. S. 406 (1900), 
which finally adjudged that in an action at common law the ship-owner 
is not liable for injuries inflicted exclusively by the negligence of a 
pilot accepted by a vessel compulsorily, as under the statutes of New 
York, although by the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United 


States the ship may be responsible in admiralty, where the owner would 
not be at common law, differing in that respect from the English cases 
in admiralty. 

The observation of Chief Justice Fuller in his response to the reso- 
lutions of the Bar on the death of his eminent associate in regard to the 
habit of Mr. Justice Gray of making cases leading when he thought the 
occasion demanded, is well illustrated by a number of his judgments in 
cases at law and in equity presenting important questions in the general 
municipal law of the country. A few only of these judgments can be 
here mentioned. 

In the introduction to his opinion in Warner v. Texas and Pacific 
Railway Company, 164 U. S. 420 (1896), relating to the Texas 
Statute of Frauds, which re-enacted Sec. 4 of the Statute of 29 
Car. II, ch. 3, he said : "This case has been so fully and ably argued, 
and the construction of this clause of the statute of frauds has so 
seldom come before this court, that it will be useful, before considering 
the particular contract now in question, to refer to some of the prin- 
cipal decisions upon the subject in the courts of England and of the 
several States." His treatment of that subject in the opinion neces- 
sarily made the case a leading one in the decisions of the court. 

The elaborate opinion of Mr. Justice Gray in Primrose v. Western 
Union Telegraph Company, 154 U. S. 1 (1894), on the important sub- 
ject of the effect and validity of the usual stipulations between tele- 
graph companies and the senders of messages in respect to the liability 
of the corporations for mistakes in the transmission or delivery of 
such messages, has been of infinite value to< the courts and the pro- 
fession throughout the country. 

Central Transportation Company v. Pullman's Car Company, 139 
U. S. 24 (1890), where he reviewed the subject of the contracts of cor- 
porations ultra vires, finally determined as the law of the Supreme 
Court that no action was maintainable on such a contract. 

His method of treating a great question of commercial law on which 
there was a supposed diversity of authority on the two sides of the 
Atlantic, is well illustrated by his learned opinion in the leading case of 
Norrington i\ Wright, 115 U. S. 188 (1885). 

His judgment in Gibbons v. Mahon, 136 U. S. 549 (1889), on the 
subject of stock dividends as an increase of the capital of a trust fund 
or income for the benefit of a life-tenant, may be mentioned as one of 
his noteworthy opinions on an interesting question of much general im- 
portance not theretofore considered by the Supreme Court. 

The opinion of Mr. Justice Gray for the majority of the court in the 
case of McArthur v. Scott, 113 U. S. 340 (1884), construing the will 
involved in that case, and declaring the invalidity of the decree of the 
State court, setting aside the probate of the will, as against the com- 


plainants, is recognized by the profession as one of the ablest of his 
judgments on difficult questions of technical law. The case is known 
as a leading one upon the subject of parties to suits in equity. 

His judgments in Jones v. Habersham, 107 U. S. 174 (1882), in- 
volving the law of charities, and the capacity of corporations to hold 
and execute trusts for charitable objects, and Hopkins v. Grimshaw, 165 
U. S. 342 (1896), adjudging that the rule against perpetuities is in- 
applicable to a trust estate resulting to the heirs of a grantor upon the 
failure of an express trust declared in the deed, are also among his 
noteworthy opinions on questions of technical law. 

One of the most elaborate and interesting of his opinions on questions 
of general jurisprudence was delivered in the leading case of Hunting- 
ton v. Attrill, 146 U. S. 657 (1892), which involved the subject of what 
laws of a State are penal laws in the international sense, and as such 
are not enforceable in the courts of another State, with reference to the 
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the United States to determine 
for itself on writ of error whether an original cause of action was penal 
in the international sense, when the highest court of the State declined 
to give full faith and credit to a judgment of another State, because 
in its opinion that judgment was for a penalty. 

It is to be observed, with regard to the important use made of de- 
cided cases in many of the principal judgments of Mr. Justice Gray, 
that he was primarily a great common law lawyer, that the authority 
of judicial precedents as evidence of the unwritten law lies at the 
foundation of the common law of the English people on both sides of 
the Atlantic, and that the doctrine of stare decisis is a principle which 
is absolutely necessary to the formation and permanence of any system 
of jurisprudence. 

While his juridical learning was profound and diversified, and he 
made extensive use of it when he thought the occasion required, it will 
be found by students of his opinions that he never loses sight of the 
point presented for judgment, and rarely decides more than the case 
upon the record properly requires. The opinions of few eminent 
judges are more free than his own from obiter dicta. 

In view of the work of Mr. Justice Gray, it may be justly said that 
he ranks with Marshall, Story, and Curtis, and with Miller and Brad- 
ley, among the greatest judges in the history of the Supreme Court of 
the United States. 

Judge Gray undertook, with great reluctance and after 
much pressure, to deliver the address on the life, character, 
and influence of Chief Justice Marshall, at Richmond, Febru- 
ary 4, 1901, at the request of the State Bar Association of 
Virginia and the Bar Association of Richmond. That clay 



was the centennial of the first meeting of the Supreme Court 
of the United States at Washington, and of Chief Justice Mar- 
shall's taking his seat. 

The Virginia bar were exceedingly desirous that this ad- 
dress should be given by a Massachusetts man. That was 
doubly appropriate because of the fact that Chief Justice 
Marshall had been appointed by John Adams, and, as the 
bar said in their invitation, " by reason of the cordial relations 
formerly existing between Virginia and Massachusetts, now 
so happily restored." 

This address contains not only an admirable portraiture of 
the great Chief Justice, but it is a striking example of the 
best work of Justice Gray. It is noticeable how extensive and 
thorough must have been the research with which this brief 
memoir was prepared ; how it deals with great qualities and 
not with those that are trifling ; how unerring are its historic 
judgments; how rare the good fortune and how careful the 
inquiry that discovered the Autobiography which had escaped 
the notice of historians ; and above all, how the orator, having 
called attention to great things said and clone by his sub- 
ject, abstains from extended personal comment or criticism, 
which he was so well calculated to make, and restrains any 
expression of the deep enthusiasm of which there can be no 
doubt his heart was full. 

The writer would have profited little by an intimate friend- 
ship and companionship of more than fifty years with the sub- 
ject of this memoir, if he were to permit even that friendship 
to betray him into anything of exaggeration in narrating the 
public service or in portraying the mental or moral quality of 
his friend. Yet I am sure there can be no exaggeration when 
I say what so many men of the first excellence, who know 
whereof they speak, men eminent upon the bench and at the 
bar of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Massa- 
chusetts, have said since his death. He took his place easily 
among the great judges of the world. He so bore himself in 
his great office as to command the approbation of his country- 
men of all sections and of all parties. He was every inch a 
judge. He maintained the dignity of his office everywhere. 
He endeared himself to a large circle of friends at the national 
capital and at home in Massachusetts by his elegant and gra- 
cious hospitality. His life certainly was fortunate. The 


desire of his youth was fulfilled. From the time when, more 
than fifty years ago. he devoted himself to his profession, until 
his death, there was no moment when he did not regard the 
office of a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States 
as not only the most attractive but also the loftiest of human 
occupations. He devoted himself to that with a single pur- 
pose. He sought no popularity or fame by any other path. 
Certainly, certainly, his life was fortunate. It lasted to a good 
old age. But the summons came for him when his eye was 
not dimmed nor his natural force abated. He drank of the 
cup of the waters of life while it was sweetest and clearest, 
and was not left to drink it to the dregs. He was fortunate 
also, almost beyond the lot of humanity, in that by a rare feli- 
city the greatest joy of youth came to him in an advanced 
age. Everything that can make life honorable, everything 
that can make life happy — honor, success, the consciousness 
of usefulness, the regard of his countrymen, and the supremest 
delight of family life — all were his. His countrymen take 
leave of him as another of the great and stately figures in the 
long and venerable procession of American judges. 



The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 11th instant, 
at three o'clock, P. M. ; the President in the chair. 

The record of the January meeting and the customary 
monthly reports were read and accepted. 

The 'President announced the death, on January 20th, at 
Freiburg in Germany, of Hermann Eduard von Hoist, a Cor- 
responding Member, and author of a Constitutional History of 
the United States. He also announced the receipt from Miss 
Mary Perkins Quincy, of New Haven, Connecticut, of an oak 
chest, containing numerous beautifully bound " Quincy Papers," 
embodying the results of much thorough genealogical in- 
vestigation in England and France. The chest and its 
entire contents are given to the Society by Miss Quincy as a 
memorial of her kinsman, Professor Edward E. Salisbury, of 
New Haven. 1 The President also presented, as a gift from the 
children of the late Hon. Charles G. Loring (H. C. 1812), the 
original quitclaim deed, on parchment, of the peninsula of 
Boston, given in March, 1684-5, by Wampatuck and other 
Indians to Elisha Cooke and eleven others " for and in the 
behalfe of themselves and the rest of the Proprietated Inhabi- 
tants of y e Towne of Boston." This most interesting docu- 
ment was exhibited at the meeting of the Society in March, 
1879, and is printed in full in the Proceedings, Vol. XVII. pp. 
52-55. A much reduced fac-simile is given in the Memorial 
History of Boston, Vol. I. p. 250. 

Mr. William R. Thayer suggested that the By-Laws 
should be amended by adding that no election to membership 
shall be valid unless, on due notification, the person elected 
shall within six months signify in writing his acceptance ; and 
on his motion the subject was referred to the Council as a 
special committee to report at the next meeting of the Society. 

Roger B. Merriman, Ph.D., of Cambridge, was elected a 
Resident Member. 

1 For an enumeration of the articles given by Miss Quincy, see post, p. 250. 



The President communicated a letter from Hon. William 
H. Moody, Secretary of the Navy, in reference to the preserva- 
tion of the frigate Constitution, and a copy of his reply. 

Washington, Jan. 20, 1904. 

Dear Mr. Adams, — I received yesterday a report from Rear Ad- 
miral Capps, chief constructor of the navy, upon the memorial of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society, praying that the Constitution be re- 
stored and put into commission as a training ship. The following is a 
copy of the report : 

" During a recent visit to the Boston Navy Yard, I took occasion 
to examine the Constitution, having specially in view the feasibility of 
refitting that vessel on the lines suggested in the recent memorial ad- 
dressed to the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States by the Council of the Massachusetts Historical Society. While 
fully in sympathy with the suggestions made by the memorialists, it is 
considered quite impracticable to refit the Constitution as a training 
ship, the present condition of the hull of the vessel being such as to 
necessitate almost entire rebuilding, at very large expense, and when 
rebuilt it is believed that the vessel would not be suitable as a sea-going 
training ship for the navy, the man-of-war of the present day being so 
entirely dissimilar to the Constitution in hull, equipment and ordnance. 
It is considered that much more satisfactory results would be obtained 
in keeping the Constitution 'in ordinary,' as at present, taking such 
steps as may be practicable to arrest further deterioration of the hull, 
and continuing the vessel in her present berth at the navy yard, Bos- 
ton, this berth being really the most protected one available at that 

tfc It is further suggested that the spar deck of the Constitution could 
be utilized as a naval museum, the chief constructor being informed 
that there is already at the Boston yard an interesting collection of 
naval relics belonging to the Naval Library and Institute Society, this 
society being incorporated under the laws of the State of Massachusetts, 
and having as its ex-officio president the commandant of the station. 

"It is believed that such an arrangement, if carried out, would pre- 
serve the sentimental associations connected with the Constitution in 
the most practical manner, and would permit the perpetuation of the 
historical name Constitution by transferring it to the most formidable 
type of modern battleship. It is believed that the continuance on the 
effective navy list of the names of ships which have borne so distin- 
guished a part in our naval history is well worthy of the attention of 
Congress, and to that end it is recommended that authority be obtained 
to give the name Constitution to the next first-class battleship author- 
ized to be built." 


In view of this statement, I shall be very glad to receive any further 
suggestions you may have to make on the subject. In the meantime 1 
will ascertain exactly what has been done by Great Britain in the case 
of the Victory. 

Very truly yours, W. H. Moody. 

Mr. Charles Francis Adams, 23 Court Street, Boston, Mass. 

Boston, Jan. 26, 1904. 

My dear Mr. Secretary, — Some days since I received your letter 
of the 20th hist., including the report of Rear Admiral Capps upon the 
recent memorial of the Massachusetts Historical Society, relating to the 
frigate Constitution. 

I confess to having read the report of Admiral Capps with a not in- 
considerable feeling of regret. Enclosed I send you two editorial clip- 
pings from recent issues of the Boston Transcript, elicited by it. I do 
not know who wrote the articles in question, nor were they suggested, 
or in any way inspired, by me ; but they fairly voice my feelings, and, 
I have reason to believe, the feelings of a large number of others, both 
in this vicinity and elsewhere. 

I must also confess to a feeling of some surprise at the report of Ad- 
miral Capps. So far as the present condition of the Constitution is 
concerned, what he states was already known. The ship can neither 
be "repaired" nor '-refitted." That it had got practically to be re- 
built was well understood. When rebuilt, however, it would still be 
the Constitution. She was rebuilt in the same way seventy years ago, 
so that to-day there is in all probability hardly a fragment of the origi- 
nal in the present frigate. It is a well-known physiological fact that 
every portion of the human body is renewed once in seven years; but, 
none the less, the individual man retains his identity. In like manner, 
the hulk now moored in the Charlestown dock is, in an unbroken line, 
the Constitution, and the traditions and memories of the original ship 
linger about it. 

Admiral Capps refers to the "very large expense" involved in re- 
building. As compared with the national outgo of the present time, 
would this expense be sufficient to merit consideration ? At the most, 
it could not well exceed half a million dollars; and I am confident I 
speak for a very large number of the American community, if not for 
the whole of it, when I submit that, in the case of a nation expending 
what the United States is now annually expending, the appropriation 
for this purpose of an amount such as that named cannot, in view of 
the sentiment involved, and the moral results flowing therefrom, be 
deemed excessive or wasteful. It would amount, after all, only to the 
average national outgo of each six hours of every day that passes. So 


viewed I do not believe an individual could anywhere be found who 
would raise his voLe in objection to it. 

I am also somewhat surprised at the statement in the report of Ad- 
miral Capps that the Constitution " would not be suitable as a sea-ffoiuo' 
training ship for the navy." The late Admiral Sampson certainly 
expressed himself to a very different effect j and the Constellation, a 
frigate of the same period as the Constitution, is at this very time in 
commission and stationed at Newport. A photograph of her, recently 
taken, is now before me. It is true that the Constitution is not, and 
cannot be made into, an ironclad ; neither can it be navigated by 
steam. Nevertheless, I had supposed that the handling of a sailing 
ship of the old style was a distinct and important part of the training 
of every modern naval officer ; and, moreover, I am under the impres- 
sion that a vessel called the Chesapeake — a name, by the way, insepa- 
rably associated in our naval annals with humiliation and defeat — now 
serves that academic purpose in connection with the school at Annapo- 
lis. Might the Chesapeake not well be replaced in such service by the 
Constitution — the " Ironsides" of our earliest navy ? 

Finally, the proposal that the name Constitution should be trans- 
ferred from the frigate to a modern battleship does not commend itself 
to my judgment. It is, on the contrary, distinctly distasteful. That 
name belongs to that ship, and to that ship only. In the memory of 
the American people it was, and should remain, always associated with 
that ship and with no other. That it should now be transferred to a 
vessel of wholly different type, with no record and no associations, 
would be otherwise than gratifying. 

Permit me in closing to add that one hope the memorialists of the Mas- 
sachusetts Historical Society had entertained was that the Constitution, as 
representing the first navy of the United States, might, followed by the 
Hartford, representing the second navy of the United States, lead the na- 
val procession which, it is believed, will at no remote day commemorate the 
opening of the Panama Canal. That event, it may reasonably be an- 
ticipated, will not be deferred beyond the year 19P2. Were the neces- 
sary appropriation for rebuilding and refitting the Constitution now 
made, that ship, like the Hartford, would, when the proper time came, 
be in condition to take her appropriate place in the van of what will 
always hereafter be remembered as one of the memorable American 
historic displays. That is where she would properly belong ; nor 
would the people of the United States account the spending of the sum 
necessary to put her there a waste of the public moneys. 

I note what you say in regard to the measures you have taken " to 
ascertain exactly what has been done by Great Britain in the case of 
the Victory." I would call your attention to the fact that the Victory 
is an old-fashioned line-of-battle ship, and accordingly quite unfit for 


the academic purposes to which the Chesapeake now is, or the Consti- 
tution might be, devoted. The hope was that the Constitution might 
be kept afloat and in commission ; and, even though the old hulk should 
be preserved, it would not be without regret that those who appreciate 
what the Constitution once did for us would see her spar deck utilized 
hereafter merely as a naval museum. 

I would, therefore, on behalf of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 
and other memorialists, express an earnest hope that the wishes they 
have expressed in this respect — wishes which they have reason to 
know are shared by other citizens in every section of the common 
country — may yet receive a favorable consideration. 
I have the honor to be, etc., 

Charles Francis Adams. 

Hon. William H. Moody, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C. 

Mr. Charles E. Norton, from the Committee appointed at 
the November meeting to represent the Society in the matter 
of a memorial or memorials to John Adams and John Quincy 
Adams, in compliance with the invitation of the State House 
Commission, made an oral report that the Committee had 
attended to that duty, and asked to be discharged, which was 
accordingly done. In a letter to the chairman of the Commis- 
sion, which has been placed on file, the Committee expressed 
the opinion that the best form of memorial would be two 
seated portrait figures in marble, to be placed in two of the 
four niches in the Memorial Hall in the State House. 

Mr. Franklin B. Sanborn read parts of a biographical 
sketch of Rev. Samuel Langdon, D.D., President of Harvard 
College from 1774 to 1780. 

Samuel Langdon, S.T.D., Scholar, Patriot, and President of 
Harvard University. 

I mention Dr. Langdon's titles to recollection in the order in 
which the world in general esteems them, but also as they led 
to his advancement from obscurity to public notice, and thence 
to eminence in the eighteenth century. It was his scholar- 
ship which gave him rank when young, and led to his estab- 
lishment as a clergyman in a large and wealthy parish at the 
age of four and twenty. This position brought him into close 
relations with public affairs, but had been preceded by the 
first distinct act of patriotism, — his taking part in the provin- 

1904.] REV. SAMUEL LANGDON. 193 

cial capture of Louisbourg in 1745, under Sir William Pep- 
perrell, when Langdon was but two and twenty. Doubtless his 
serving as chaplain to one of the regiments — that raised in 
New Hampshire — which accomplished that daring enterprise 
was a step towards his succeeding to the pastorate of Rev. Mr. 
Fitch in Portsmouth. This pastorate made him cognizant of 
the patriotic opinions and plans of Langdon, Sullivan, and the 
other opponents of British aggression in New Hampshire ; and 
he joined in them so cordially that, when the Corporation and 
Overseers of Harvard College in 1774, whose members were 
chiefly of the party of the Adamses and Hancock, had to 
choose a new President, they naturally invited Dr. Langdon 
of Portsmouth to that difficult place, in which he served during 
the six most critical years of the Revolution. 

Samuel Langdon was the son of Samuel, a house wright or 
carpenter of Boston, and Esther Osgood, his wife, and was born, 
January 12, 1723, in the North End of Boston, probably in 
Cross Street. He was the youngest of six children, and took 
the name of his eldest brother, Samuel, who had died at the 
age of eight, in October, 1721. He was the grandson of Philip 
Langdon, a mariner, and his wife Mary ; and this Philip was 
probably the son of a John Langdon, who ma}* have been a 
brother of Tobias Langdon, ancestor of the distinguished 
brothers John and Woodbury Langdon, of Portsmouth, New 
Hampshire. The Langdons appear to have come from Devon- 
shire. Samuel, the future divine, had an uncle, Paul Langdon, 
who removed to Wilbraham and had numerous descendants ; 
he was himself the second cousin of Elizabeth Langdon of 
Boston, two years older than himself (born in 1721), who be- 
came the wife of Rev. Andrew Eliot of the North Church, 
Boston, at whose advice, as a member of the Corporation of Har- 
vard, Dr. Langdon, early in October, 1774, became President 
of the embarrassed College. Dr. Langdon married, in 1748, 
Elizabeth Brown, daughter of the deceased minister of Reading, 
Rev. Richard Brown, a scholar of some note in his day. Five 
children of this marriage lived to maturity, all but two of 
whom left descendants ; so that the posterity of Dr. Langdon, 
by his own name and other names, are now numerous, and 
reside in many parts of the United States, in Georgia, North 
Carolina, and California, as well as in New York. I may add 
that Nathaniel Langdon, a Boston innkeeper in the first half 



of the eighteenth century, was a first cousin of Mrs. Andrew 
Eliot, and a second cousin of Dr. Langdon ; he was the grand- 
father and namesake of Rev. Nathaniel Langdon Frothingham, 
a former member of this Society. 

I mention these genealogical details because Rev. John Eliot, 
who was rather too fond of disparaging his mother's cousin, 
President Langdon, speaks of him in his Biographical Diction- 
ary as of humble origin, " of parents poor but respectable." 
So he was, being a carpenter's son ; but he was not the only 
person in history so designated ; and Boston mechanics were 
the fathers of many of the Fathers of the Revolution, be- 
ginning with the eldest and most illustrious, Benjamin 
Franklin. Illustrious descent, in America, has little on which 
to found its pretensions, until we get back into the twilight of 
European heraldry. Owen O'Sullivan, a grandson of four Irish 
Countesses, as he was told, but who ran away from the peer- 
age, and changed his name to John Sullivan and his station 
to that of schoolmaster along the Pascataqua, has been made 
more famous by his two sons, John and James, who became 
respectively Governors of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, 
than by his descent from the kings of Kenw. In his old age, 
writing to his son the New Hampshire General, old Owen 
quoted a rather lame Latin quatrain thus, in disdain of 
genealogy : — 

Si Adam sit Pater cunctortim, Mater et Eva, 
Cur non sunt homines nobilitate pares? 
Non pater aut mater dant nobis nobilitatem, 
Moribus et vita nobilitatur homo. 

Which elegiac verse I render, 

Was Adam all men's sire, and Eve their mother? 
Then how can one be nobler than another? 
Ennobled are we not by sire or dame, 
Till life and conduct give us noble fame. 

Dr. Langdon answered to this requirement so well that he 
furnished his own title to renown. 

The lad very early showed indications of his tendency 
towards the life of a scholar, and these were so marked that 
friends promoted his wish for a liberal education, and he en- 
tered Harvard College at the age of thirteen, in 1736. There 
he became one of the beneficiaries under the liberal donations 

1904.] REV. SAMUEL LANGDON. 195 

of Thomas Hollis to promote religious education in New 
England. Quincy, in his History of Harvard University, in a 
passage rather more grandiloquent than his wont, says near 
the beginning of the twelfth chapter : — 

" In the literary horizon of Harvard the name of Hollis is applicable, 
not to a single star, but to a constellation. Six individuals bearing it 
are entitled to rank high in the list of its benefactors. Of these the 
first and greatest was Thomas Hollis, who was born in 1659 and died 
in 1731. Three of the six bore this name of Thomas; the others re- 
spectively of John, Nathaniel, and Timothy. The second Thomas was 
the son of Nathaniel, and heir of his uncle, the first Thomas. The 
third Thomas was the son of the second. Timothy was the son of 

One of the first official acts of Dr. Langdon after he became 
President of the College in October, 1774, was to write to one 
of the latest of the six stars in Quincy's constellation (Timothy 
Hollis), condoling with him on the death of the second 
Thomas ; and I quote it for its pathetic touch in regard to the 
education of the poor scholar then at the head of the College. 
Dr. Langdon said, — 

" The name of Hollis claims the highest veneration and an everlast- 
ing remembrance in this seat of Science. In its weak beginnings it was 
enriched and adorned by the great Benefactor of this name, with a fund 
for two most important Professorships, and a very considerable pro- 
vision for ten students to be trained up for the Evangelical ministry ; 
besides other very valuable donations. Among many others, the writer 
of this rejoices in having, been one of the children educated by the 
bounty of so generous a patron." 

Graduating in 1740, and taking his master's degree in 1743, 
young Langdon became a teacher in the flourishing town of 
Portsmouth, then the capital of the fast-growing Province of 
New Hampshire, under the government of the powerful and 
liberal family of Wentworth, who continued to rule it for a 
whole generation longer. Langdon was a favorite there, was 
asked to assist the aged pastor of the oldest church in 1744, 
then went as chaplain to the siege of Louisbourg, as already 
mentioned, and in 1747 succeeded Mr. Fitch in the parish, and 
became one of the chaplains of the Provincial Legislature 
meeting at Portsmouth. He received a grant of mountain 


lands near Conway for his service in the war, married in 1748, 
and built a capacious house for his bride in 1749, which is 
still owned, by his descendants, and in which 1 spent an 
agreeable half-hour lately, with Dr. Langdon's great-grand- 
daughter, Mrs. Mary Pickering Harris, who represents in 
Portsmouth the three intermarried families of Pickering, 
Gocldard, and Langdon. I found her grieved at the unfair 
way, as she thinks, in which President Quincy treated the 
character and administration of her ancestor and his distin- 
guished predecessor ; and I am inclined to agree with her in 
that opinion. Still more unfair is the account of President 
Langdon's resignation which this Historical Society has pub- 
lished in the third part of the Belknap Papers, from the gos- 
siping pen of Rev. John Eliot, who gives a very incorrect view 
of Dr. Langdon's letter of resignation. As this letter has never 
been published, I think, nor its exact dates set forth in con- 
nection with the action of the Corporation over which he had 
presided, I will give it. The order of events was extraordinary, 
and his resolution to resign suddenly formed. On the 28th of 
August, 1780, he had presided at a meeting of the Corporation, 
and entered their brief proceedings in the record-book with his 
own hand, in that clear and beautiful penmanship which his 
diploma to General Washington, four years earlier, had exhib- 
ited. Two days before he was waited on by an impudent 
committee of a dozen students, who invited him to resign, in 
an insulting paper which had previously been read to one of 
the faculty, presumably the librarian, Winthrop, who encour- 
aged them in their insubordination. On the 30th of August 
the President sent to his colleagues of the Corporation, ad- 
dressing them in very respectful terms, this dignified letter, 
which Eliot has misrepresented: — 

Gentlemen, — Upon your invitation, when the flames of war were 
just breaking out, in the most difficult and critical situation of affairs, 
both of the State and of the College, notwithstanding every discourag- 
ing prospect, I took my leave of a Church with which I was connected 
by every obligation and endearment, and ventured into the midst of 
tumult and dangers ; that I might contribute whatever was in my power 
for the support of Liberty and Literature. Sensible of the weight of 
duty which would come upon me, I wished for greater abilities both of 
Body and Mind, to go thro' the various and important services then in 
my view. 

1904.] REV. SAMUEL LANGDON. 197 

Soon after my acceptance and removal to Cambridge, I found my- 
self surrounded by the din of arms, called to complicated labors, almost 
beyond my strength, and obliged to remove my family and effects from 
town to town, before I could have a safe and quiet residence in Cam- 
bridge. 1 After which numerous difficulties occurred from year to year, 
in the affairs of this literary Society, which required increased applica- 
tion beyond all the ordinary duties of the President's office. By Di- 
vine help I have been supported to the present time, tho' subject to 
many mental and bodily infirmities ; and my chief satisfaction is the 
hope that my zealous endeavors to serve the noble cause of my Country 
and Liberty, and the important interests of Religion and Literature, 
have not been wholly without good effects. 

But old age is advancing on a constitution which in former years 
was much weakened by threatening nervous disorders ; and the course 
of severe labor which I have gone through, since I entered on the duties 
of my office, has hastened on the common decays of nature. My 
memory greatly fails; that spirit and vigor necessary for the happy 
management of an University are sensibly abated; my taste for youth- 
ful studies is decreasing; a life so public grows less agreeable, and the 
show and ceremony of the world begin to be a burden. I therefore 
rather wish for a more retired situation. 

These considerations have led me to a determination to resign that 
office with which, by your favor, I have been honored. And I now beg 
to declare my resignation of the President's Chair in Harvard College ; 
trusting that the God of all wisdom may soon direct you to the choice 
of some worthy Gentleman, who will fill the vacancy with greater dig- 
nity, and, with more distinguishing abilities and success, go through the 
various duties of the office. 

Permit me nevertheless to request the favor that my family may 
continue in the house appropriated to the President's use, until my own 
at Portsmouth can be prepared for their reception ; and that, consider- 
ing the heavy expense of my removing, after serving the College in 
times of peculiar difficulty, without receiving more than one third of 
the emoluments of the office, which in better times were enjoyed (if 
compared with current expenses), you would afford me all that kind 
assistance which may be in your power. 

For all the honor you have done me, and the constant candor and 
goodness with which you have treated me, I entertain the warmest sen- 
timents of gratitude. It is my fervent prayer that the Father of Lights 
would grant every blessing to the literary Society which has been com- 
mitted to my care ; and that it may be celebrated through the world 

1 Referring to the removal of the President first to Watertown, then to Con- 
cord, after the battle of Bunker Hill, when the College was broken up temporarily, 
and afterward reassembled in the Concord meeting-house. 


for retaining the truth of the Gospel, for the purest morals, and the 
most perfect cultivation of every branch of Science. 

With the highest Friendship and Esteem, I am, Gentlemen, your 
most obliged and humble Servant, 

Samuel Langdon. 

Harvard College, August 30, 1780. 

I hardly see how a president, under the unpleasant circum- 
stances of the case, could write a more gentle and Christian 
epistle. "A wounded spirit who can bear?" and that pain 
which the generous must feel at being ungenerously dealt with 
is manifest in every paragraph of this document. But there is 
nothing in it to warrant Eliot in quoting the good Doctor as 
saying, "My taste for academical studies decreases; my fond- 
ness for show and public notice is lost, and I wish heartily to 
retire." The meaning of the polite President was very differ- 
ent from this travesty. So much had his memory failed that 
he could not remember injuries. 

Rev. John Eliot, whose sister married Dr. Belknap, the 
founder of our Historical Society, was an amusing writer, but 
not in youth a very impartial or religious man if we may judge 
by his published letters. A gallery of portraits sketched by 
him, as drawn from his letters to Belknap, would show the 
New England worthies of his youthful day in a very strange 
light. He was young, fluent, critical, and put no restraint on 
his ready pen. Dr. Byles in his eyes was a i4 silly, impertinent, 
childish person, — one consistent lump of absurdity." Paul 
Revere found no more favor in his sight; Samuel Adams 
" loves me [the great John Eliot] as the devil does righteous- 
ness." Winchester, a very respectable divine, who afterwards 
founded the Finsbury Square Chapel in London, was "a New 
Light haranguer," wishing to " pull down the standing clergy." 
Of the College Presidents in 1780, Eliot writes : " What a 
group, mirabile pecus ! president Langdon, Cambridge, Stiles, 
Yale, Wheelock, Dartmouth, Graham, Fishkill, — I beg Mr. 
Manning's pardon, who resides at Providence." Dr. Mather's 
pamphlet in 1782 "partook of the rabies of the family; was 
weak, quaint, pettish, with the pomposity of his father." Dr. 
D wight, afterwards President of Yale, " is a complete bigot, on 
the plan of his grandfather, Jonathan Edwards; has studied 
little else in divinity but that scheme." Rev. William Hazlitt, 
father of the essayist, " is the most conceited and imprudent 

1901.] REV. SAMUEL LANGDON. 199 

man I ever met with." These may serve as samples of his 
discernment and freedom of speech. He had reached the ma- 
ture age of twenty years and six months when he thus passed 
judgment upon Dr. Langdon, whom his father had successfully 
urged to leave his attached parishioners and come to his 
thorny path at Cambridge : — 

" President Langdon now sits in the academical chair. To give you 
my opinion of this gentleman sub rasa, I think him a compages of good 
sense, much learning, more arrogance, and no less conceit. His first 
setting out was beginning his expositions on Romans, detaining us an 
hour and half in the Chapel to hear them. The next was, abolishing 
Sunday evening singing, to give more time for his harangue. I expect 
the next will be ordering the Bachelors to dispute, which will soon bring 
him and us by the ears." 

A few months later this Daniel come to judgment wrote, 
more hopefully : " I hope our Prseses will be a useful man. 
He is rather more popular than he was." 

Now, what had Dr. Langdon been doing that entitled him 
to be chosen from outside the Province, of which Harvard 
College was then a dependency, to the chair of that " semi- 
nary," as it was once the fashion to call it? He was probably 
in 1774, at the age of fifty-one, in most branches of knowl- 
edge the most learned and exact scholar of all New England. 
He had been eminent in college and a successful teacher, bad 
cultivated mathematics and geography, astronomy and history, 
and collected a valuable library, some part of which helped on 
my youthful studies in the town where he died, Hampton 
Falls. Like all the residents of New Hampshire, the province 
most immediately threatened in the French and Indian wars, 
he had made himself active to repel, and finally to conquer, 
the Canadian French and their Indian allies; and when the 
war of 1754-63 came on, he busied himself, along with Colonel 
Blanchard, an officer in that war, to provide England and 
America with a better map than was attainable of the region 
in dispute, northwestern New Hampshire and Vermont. This 
map was first prepared in 1756, but not published in London 
till 1761, when it appeared on a large sheet dedicated to 
Charles Townshend, then one of the English cabinet. So 
pleased was he with the work and the inscription, — stimu- 
lated, perhaps, by the recommendation of Governor Went- 


worth, of Portsmouth, — that he procured for Mr. Langdon 
the honorary degree of S.T.D. from the University of Aber- 
deen. During the same war Langdon was in correspondence 
with the New Hampshire commanders, as is shown, among 
other evidence, by the long letter of Captain Nathaniel Fol- 
som, afterwards a Revolutionary general, addressed to Mr. 
Langdon, and now among this Society's manuscripts. I may 
note in passing that Bancroft, the historian, has made a mis- 
take in describing the spirited engagement reported in this 
letter, which he might have avoided had he read Dr. Lang- 
don's sermon of 1759 on the capture of Quebec. Bancroft 
says: "A party of 300 French who had rallied and were re- 
treating in a body, at two miles from Lake George were at- 
tacked by Macginnes of New Hampshire, who, with 200 men 
of that Colony, was marching across the portage from Fort 
Edward." Dr. Langdon says, basing his statement on the 
letter of Folsom, who speaks very slightingly of McGennis, a 
New York captain : — 

"At their place of rendezvous the French were met by a small scout 
of 140 men, of the New Hampshire and New York regiments, under 
the captains Folsom and McGennis, who, hastening from Fort Edward 
toward the lake at the report of cannon, discovered and engaged the 
enemy, as they were reassembling where they had left their baggage ; 
fought from 4 p. m. till night, killed about* 100, dispersed the body, 
and then proceeded to the Camp with the loss of only six of their 
number killed. This was on Sept. 8, 1755." 

The war successfully ended, and young King George seated 
on the throne, Dr. Langdon joined with the other clergymen 
of New Hampshire and eastern Maine in congratulating him 
on his accession. The great-uncle of John Adams, Rev. 
Joseph Adams of Newington, then seventy-three years old, 
presided at the synod, but the address bears plain marks of 
Dr. Langdon's style, and is signed by him, along with Mr. 
Gookin of North Hampton and Dr. Haven of Portsmouth. 
It said : — 

" We cannot but recollect with the greatest pleasure how securely we 
enjoyed our Civil and Religious Liberties during the reign of your 
Majesty's Royal Grandfather, by whose Wisdom and Moderation the 
authority of the Laws was supported, and Protestants of all denomi- 
nations countenanced and protected from the furious insults of Party 

1904.] REV. SAMUEL LANGDON. , 201 

Zeal. Especially these American Colonies must forever remember his 
paternal care, who, at a very critical time of most threatening dauger, 
defended us by his Arms ; which, accompanied with most signal smiles 
of Divine Providence, have delivered us from the Massacre of the bar- 
barous Salvages, to which our Frontiers were continually exposed, — 
the fears of Romish superstition and the chains of France. 

" While we are laboring according to the peculiar duties of our 
sacred character to promote among our people the Relgion of Jesus 
Christ, our Divine Master, agreeable to the purity and simplicity of the 
Gospel, we shall ever be careful to inculcate upon them principles of 
loyalty and subjection to your Majesty's government, and enforce these 
duties by our own example." 

This was in 1761 ; nor was Dr. Langdon's Election sermon 
of May, 1775, so inconsistent with this expression of loyalty as 
might appear at first sight. He made a distinction between 
the king and his ministers and their purchased parliament , 
which distinction, if the king had fully understood and acted 
on, he might have retained the allegiance of the Colonies. 

I find in the archives of Harvard College a curious evidence 
of Dr. Langdon's universal studies, in the following letter to 
the mathematical professor at Cambridge, John Winthrop, 
dated Portsmouth, September 15, 1769, and enclosing some 
astronomical calculations : — 

" I have presumed to trouble you with such observations as I have 
been able to make on several places of the present Comet ; which per- 
haps may afford you some little advantage, in supplying some vacancies 
in the observations at Cambridge ; as I am ready to suppose your state 
of health may have hindered you from tracing it in so many points of 
the horizon as might be desired. I wish I could have more seasonably 
procured a good instrument ; but I think the three last places were 
taken with as much accuracy as I was capable of using. Only, since 
the motion in 24 hours was about four degrees, and such observations 
took up some minutes of time, perhaps there may be three or four 
minutes of a degree allowed for the Comet's change of place, while I 
was taking its distance from several stars. Pray excuse the mixture of 
my rude guesses, which are founded only upon a mental view of the 
path which appearances led me to think the Comet must take, and the 
course of its way on the celestial globe." 2 

1 This very globe was left by Dr. Langdon, with his learned wig and other 
articles, to one of his Hampton Falls deacons, Jeremiah Lane, and afforded me 
the first sight of such an instrument when I was perhaps seven years old. 


Three years earlier Dr. Langdon, together with Dr. Haven of 
Portsmouth, Rev. Mr. Stevens of Kittery, and Rev. Mr. Mc- 
Clintock of Greenland, had examined and approved young 
Mr. Belknap as a candidate for the ministry ; and Dr. Lang- 
don was the " scribe " of the church council which directed 
the proceedings at the ordination of Mr. Belknap at Dover in 
February, 1767. Thus was New Hampshire provided with her 
best historian, in whose labors Dr. Langdon co-operated. His 
second son, Paul Langdon, graduated at Harvard in 1770, and 
the Doctor himself had favored the admission of several stu- 
dents from New Hampshire to that College during his Ports- 
mouth residence, and even after the opening of Dartmouth 
College. Under these circumstances, when in 1774, by the 
sudden retirement of President Locke, the chair at Harvard 
became vacant, and the difficult position was made more diffi- 
cult by the political controversies of the period, Dr. Langdon's 
clerical and political friends in Boston turned toward him 
as a suitable man for the presidency, which several of them 
had declined. Dr. Andrew Eliot, father of the young critic 
John, seems to have been the member of the College Corpora- 
tion selected to remove Dr. Langdon's scruples about leaving 
his church and congregation and putting himself in the path 
of the British lion, then represented in Boston and Cambridge 
by General Gage, who had succeeded Hutchinson as Governor 
of Massachusetts, with a Tory band of mandamus Councillors 
around him. Some of these w r ere naturally averse to the ap- 
pointment of so pronounced a patriot as Dr. Langdon, and it 
was feared they would raise difficulties. Dr. Eliot visited his 
friend at Portsmouth soon after he and his associates had 
secretly chosen Langdon, in July, 1774; and not long after his 
visit Dr. Langdon wrote to Dr. Eliot thus : — 

Portsmouth, August 10, 1774. 

Rev'd and Dear Sir, — The Church and Congregation, the day 
you left us, voted to leave the important affair of my Call to the deter- 
mination of my own best judgment. I know not what to do ; may God 
give me counsel. Perhaps providence may soon present some circum- 
stances which may fix my mind. Pray favour me with your friendly 
advice and assistance. 

Your Brother in the Gospel, 

Sam l Langdon. 

1904.] REV. SAMUEL LANGDON. 203 

On the same sheet which contains this note in the archives 
of this Society, is the first draft of a reply by Dr. Eliot, who 
said : — 

" Yours of 10th inst. I received. I am glad there is like to be no 
difficulty with your people. I sincerely hope there will be no diffi- 
culty anywhere else. Dr. Appleton informs, you have tho'ts of giving 
your answer soon. When the Overseers adjourned to Oct. it was 
supposed that you would be not likely to give your answer before that 
time. It hath been usual to read the Pres't's answer at that board, 
who have then voted to desire him to remove, &c. It is my opinion 
that, provided you [illegible] and I trust you will, it will be on all ac- 
counts best to defer it a few weeks. In this opinion Dr. Appleton, Dr. 
Pemberton, Dr. Winthrop & Dr. Cooper agree with me. Dr. Cooper 
would have written his sentiments if you had not been absent. You 
will soon hear from him." 

It would appear from another letter of Dr. Eliot's that one 
of the Governor's Council had threatened some opposition ; at 
any rate, the affair dragged on, and on the 30th of August, 
1774, just six years before he wrote his letter of resignation, 
Dr. Langdon wrote again to his friend, saying : — 

I understand, by a letter from Dr. Haven's son to his father, that 
you are under apprehensions of a difficulty on account of the Governor 
and new Council's concern in the installment, if I should speedily an- 
swer the Call of the College, in the affirmative. I see no prospect of 
the removal of that difficulty in any short time; a twelvemonth will 
hardly be sufficient to settle things, if all should at length turn in our 
favor at home. 1 If therefore the formalities of Installment are neces- 
sary, so long a delay of my answer would be in many respects incon- 
venient ; for my people already grow impatient for the final decision, and 
are ready to recall the liberty already given me. My aim is to serve 
the College if I am able. I am willing for my own part to forego 
anything which may be considered merely as a point of honor, and 
risque a maintenance on the credit of the College and Province. If 
there are embarassments which cannot be surmounted, in any rea- 
sonable time, I shall think it my duty to refuse the honor offered me. 
All I desire is to know what I ought to do. I have written to Dr. 
Winthrop for his opinion. Pray favor me with yours as soon as pos- 
sible. The momentous affair must very soon be determined. 
Your affectionate Friend and Brother, etc. 

Sam l Langdon. 
i "At home" meant England. 


Of course the members of the Corporation wrote him at 
once that he must uot decline (as they had done), and early 
in October, 1774, he became President. His doing so is thus 
seen to have been a favor to the College, then in serious straits 
for a good president, rather than a favor to the pastor of an 
attached congregation. His remark about risking " a mainte- 
nance on the credit of the College and Province," recalls 
the wellnigh forgotten fact that Harvard was then dependent, 
in part, on the Provincial Legislature for its pecuniary sup- 
port, — the rent of Massachusetts Hall, then £60 a year, being 
appropriated by the General Court for the President's salary, 
— to which were added certain fees. As the Revolutionary 
paper money decreased in value, the salary of Dr. Langdon 
fell to less than half what had been stipulated at first (£200 
in silver), and the deficiency was in part made up to him by 
the Legislature after his resignation. 

Nor was this the only source of financial trouble to the 
President and College. Dr. Langdon had been chosen on the 
18th of July at the house of John Hancock on Beacon Hill, 
and with the active support of Hancock, then one of the rich- 
est and most popular merchants in Boston. He was also Col- 
lege Treasurer since 1773, having made good to the College a 
defeated bequest of the uncle, Thomas Hancock, from whom 
his wealth was inherited ; and having been chosen into the 
College Corporation in view of the facts just stated. Dr. 
Langdon's active duties began October 14, and in November 
it was his duty to write to his friend Colonel Hancock, request- 
ing him to make the first annual settlement of his accounts as 
Treasurer, and inform his colleagues of the state of the College 
funds. No notice was taken of this letter, and a second and 
third letter, January 27, 1775, and March 7 following, produced 
no other effect than a promise, which Hancock never kept, to 
make the financial statement desired. Letter followed letter, 
and just before the fight at Lexington and Concord the Cor- 
poration voted,— 

"That Colonel Hancock be requested to deliver the moneys, bonds, 
and other papers belonging to the College Treasury, into the hands of 
the President, Dr. Appleton, Dr. Winthrop, and Dr. Eliot, or any two 
of them, a committee for that purpose ; and that they give him a proper 
receipt, which shall be his discharge for the same." 

1904.] REV. SAMUEL LANGDON. 205 

This polite way of turning out a treasurer not only did not 
produce the moneys, but angered the busy and popular Han- 
cock, then active in the measures that soon brought on war. 
He wrote from the Provincial Congress at Concord (sitting in 
the meeting-house where a few months after Dr. Langdoft was 
expounding Romans or Revelations and hearing College reci- 
tations), a tart letter in which he declared, — 

" That he has at heart the interest of the College as much as any 
one, and will pursue it. He is much surprised at the contents of the 
President's letter, as well as at the doings of the gentlemen present, 
which he very seriously resents. . . . Peradventure his absence [at 
Philadelphia, whither he was soon going to the Continental Congress] 
may not he longer than a voyage to Machias." 

We know not what this last Parthian arrow signifies, nor 
where it hit, but it must have been aimed at some member of 
the Corporation. The battle of Concord came on, the Con- 
gress met, Hancock became its president, and signed the 
Declaration of Independence fifteen months after, all the 
while neglecting his duty as College Treasurer. Two years 
later Hancock was displaced, and Storer made Treasurer. 

Events were occurring which made the ire of Colonel 
Hancock seem trifling, as his conduct certainly was. The 
Colony began to arm for the inevitable struggle with the 
mother-country ; General Gage and Earl Percy found out on 
the 19th of April, six months after Dr. Langdon's taking the 
academic chair, what sort of marksmen the despised militia 
of Middlesex and Essex were ; the Provincial Congress at 
Watertown took charge of the government of the Province, 
and on the annual Election Day, May 31, 1775, the new 
President of Harvard was installed as preacher of the Election 
sermon. His pamphlet is before me. His subject was, " Gov- 
ernment corrupted by Vice " ; his text, from the radical 
prophet Isaiah, " I will restore thy judges as at the first, and 
thy counsellors as at the beginning ; afterward thou shalt be 
called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City." This 
was aimed at the Tory justices and the mandamus Councillors, 
whose Whig successors were soon to be found sitting in their 
vacated places ; but the preacher did not stop at their feeble 
transgressions : he struck at the source of their misgovern- 
ment — the tyranny and corruption of the English adminis- 
tration — in these well-chosen words : — 


" We have lived to see the time when British liberty is just ready to 
expire ; when that constitution of government which has so long been 
the glory and strength of the English nation, is deeply undermined 
and ready to tumble into ruins : — when America is threatened with 
cruel oppression, and the arm of power is stretched out against New 
England, and especially against this Colony; to compel us to submit 
to the arbitrary acts of legislators who are not our representatives, and 
who will not themselves bear the least part of the burdens which, with- 
out mercy, they are laying upon us . . . We are no longer permitted 
to fix our eyes on the faithful of the land, and trust in the wisdom of 
their counsels and the equity of their judgment. But men in whom we 
can have no confidence, — whose principles are subversive of our liber- 
ties, whose aim is to exercise lordship over us, and share among them- 
selves the public wealth, — ■ men who are ready to serve any master, 
and execute the most unrighteous decrees for high wages, — whose 
faces we never saw before, and whose interests and connections may be 
far divided from us by the wide Atlantic, — are to be set over us as 
counsellors and judges ; at the pleasure of those who have the riches 
and power of the nation in their hands, and whose noblest plan is to 
subjugate the Colonies first, and then the whole nation, to their 

In this bold outburst Langdon was but echoing what Burke 
and Chatham were saying in England, and denouncing influ- 
ences against which Fox and Rockingham long strove in vain 
after the death of Chatham, — that great statesman whom 
Langdon in New Hampshire, with his friends the Went- 
worths and Atkinsons, had loyally supported in the dark 
days of the French war. 

Soon after this sermon the College was removed to Concord, 
concerning which more will be said presently. It returned to 
Cambridge in the summer of 1776, and the degree of LL.D. 
was conferred on General Washington there. Two years 
afterward, Dr. Locke, Dr. Langdon's predecessor, died. I 
found the other day, at the Public Library, among the manu- 
scripts, this eulogy of him, in Dr. Langdon's handwriting, 
perhaps designed for his tombstone : — 

In Memory of the Rev. Samuel Locke, D.D. 

As a divine he was learned and judicious. In the pastoral office 
vigilant and faithful. As a Christian devout and charitable. In his 
friendships firm and sincere. Humane, affable and benevolent in his 

1904.] REV. SAMUEL LANGDON. 207 

disposition. In the conjugal and parental relations kind and officious. 1 
The uncommon size and penetration of his genius, the extensiveness of 
his erudition, that fund of useful knowledge which he had acquired ; 
the firmness and mildness of his temper and manners, his easiness of 
access and patient attention to others, joined with his singular talents 
for government, procured him universal esteem, — especially of the 
governors and students of Harvard College, over which he presided for 
four years with much reputation to himself and advantage to the public. 
Afterwards he retired to the private walks of life, entertaining and im- 
proving the more confined circle of his friends, until his death, which 
was very sudden, on the loth of January, 1778, aged 45. 

I believe this the longest account of that brief President we 
have anywhere. It speaks well for the heart of his successor, 
and indicates what were the qualities Dr. Langdon admired, 
nearly all of which he possessed. We may smile at the adjec- 
tives and nouns he now and then employs, as we do at the 
panegyrics and invective of others; but it is true of this 
good Doctor that he preferred to praise rather than to blame. 

The town of Concord, when Dr. Langdon and his hundred 
students removed thither in September, 1775, was rather 
smaller than Cambridge, with a large meeting-house, where 
the Provincial Congress had lately assembled, two or three 
taverns, a court-house, a wooden jail, in which the next year 
Sir Archibald Campbell was imprisoned, a few good houses 
in the village, and many large farmhouses on its outskirts 
and in the four quarters of the great township. The Old 
Manse was newly built, and occupied by Rev. William Emer- 
son (grandfather of Waldo Emerson), whose mother-in-law, 
the widow of Parson Bliss, his predecessor in the pulpit, 
occupied with her family the oldest house in the village, still 
standing on the main street ; and upon its book-shelves that 
part of the College library which had been brought over from 
Andover was probably arranged for the use of professors and 
students, and of the town minister, Mr. Emerson, who, by 
special vote of the Corporation, was allowed to consult the 
books. A short mile to the westward, on the large farm of 

1 Here Dr. Langdon used the last adjective as did his contemporary Dr. John- 
son, in his poem on his companion Levet : — 

Well tried through many a varying year 

See Levet to the grave descend ; 
Officious, innocent, sincere, 
Of every friendless name the friend. 


the Tory Lee, which had once belonged to Major Willard, the 
companion of Rev. Peter Bulkeley, stood the largest house in 
Concord (burned forty years ago), in which many of the 
students lived. Others were distributed through the town, 
some of them still farther to the northwestward, on the roads 
to Annursnac and Strawberry Hill. The recitations were 
given in the meeting-house, the court-house, and at the Lee 
house by Nashawtuc. Dr. Langdon himself lived at Dr. 
Minott's, where afterward the Middlesex Hotel stood, and the 
professors in places not far off. Before leaving the town to 
return to Cambridge, Dr. Langdon, representing the Faculty, 
thus addressed the Selectmen, " the gentlemen of the com- 
mittee, and other gentlemen and inhabitants who have favored 
the College with their encouragement and assistance" : — - 

Gentlemen, — The assistance you have afforded us in obtaining 
accommodations for this Society here (when Cambridge was rilled with 
the glorious army of freemen which was assembled to hazard their lives 
in their country's cause, and our removal from thence became necessary), 
demands our grateful acknowledgments. We have observed with 
pleasure the many tokens of your friendship to the College ; and par- 
ticularly thank you for the use of your public buildings. We hope the 
scholars, while here, have not dishonored themselves and the Society 
by any incivilities or indecencies of behavior, — or that you will readily 
forgive any errors which may be attributed to the inadvertence of youth. 

May God reward you with all His blessings, grant us a quiet re- 
settlement in our ancient seat, to which we are now returning, preserve 
America from slavery, and establish and continue Religion,* Learning, 
Liberty, Peace, and the happiest Government in these American Col- 
onies, to the end of the world ! 

In addition to this vote of thanks, the College voted £10 
to the Selectmen for the use of the meeting-house, in which 
morning and evening prayers were daily held. 

Concord, when Dr. Langdon took up his residence there, in 
the summer of 1775, was full of memories of the fight at the 
North Bridge ; and still more so when he preached his Elec- 
tion sermon in May. Speaking of that affair, he said in his 
sermon : — 

" They have not only endeavored to terrify us with fleets and armies 
sent to our capital, and distressed and put an end to our trade,— 
particularly that important branch of it, the fishery, — but at length 
attempted, by a sudden march of a body of troops in the night, to seize 

1901.] KEY. SAMUEL LANGDON. 209 

and destroy one of our magazines, formed by the people merely for 
their own security. ... By this, as might well be expected, a skirmish 
was brought on ; and it is most evident . . . that the fire began first 
on the side of the king's troops. At least five or six of our inhabitants 
were murderously killed by the Regulars at Lexington, before any 
man attempted to return the fire, and when they were actually com- 
plying with the command to disperse : and two more of our brethren 
were likewise killed at Concord Bridge by a fire from the king's 
soldiers, before the engagement began on our side. But whatever 
credit falsehoods transmitted to Great Britain from the other side may 
gain, the matter may be rested entirely on this, — that he that arms 
himself to commit a robbery, and demands the traveller's purse, by 
the terror of instant death, is the first aggressor, though the other 
should take the advantage of discharging his pistol first, and killing 
the robber. 

" The alarm was sudden, but in a very short time spread far and 
wide ; the nearest neighbors in haste ran together, to assist their breth- 
ren and save their country. Not more than three or four hundred met 
in season, and bravely attacked and repulsed the enemies of liberty, 
who retreated with great precipitation. . . . 

" Our king, as if impelled by some strange fatality, is resolved to 
reason with us only by the roar of his cannon, and the pointed arguments 
of muskets and bayonets. Because we refuse submission to the des- 
potic power of a ministerial Parliament, our own sovereign, to whom 
we have always been ready to swear true allegiance, — whose authority 
we never meant to cast off, — has given us up to the rage of his minis- 
ters ; to be seized at sea by the rapacious commanders of every little 
sloop of war and piratical cutter; and to be plundered and massacred 
on land by mercenary troops, who know no distinction betwixt an 
enemy and a brother, between right and wrong, — but only, like brutal 
pursuers, to hunt and seize the prey pointed out by their masters." 

This passage indicates what was almost the universal feeling 
in the Colonies after that " untoward affair " of the 19th of 
April. Another point insisted on by Dr. Langdon was perhaps 
more fully exemplified in his own Province of New Hampshire 
than in any of the Colonies, — the quiet and almost unanimous 
submission to the newly created popular authorities. And in 
the passage now to be cited, it will be seen that this preacher 
anticipated by more than a year the very argument more tersely 
put forward by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: 

" By the Law of Nature any body of people, destitute of order and 
government, may form themselves into a civil society according to their 



best prudence, and so provide for their common safety and advantage. 
When one form is found by the majority not to answer the grand purpose 
in any tolerable degree, they may by common consent put an end to it 
and set up another ; only this ought not to be attempted without urgent 
necessity. . . . 

" It must be ascribed to some supernatural influence on the minds of 
the main body of the people through this extensive continent, that they 
have so universally adopted the method of managing the important 
affairs necessary to preserve among them a free government, by corre- 
sponding committees and congresses, consisting of the wisest and most 
disinterested patriots in America, chosen by the unbiassed suffrages of 
the people assembled for that purpose, in their several towns, counties 
and provinces. So general agreement through so many provinces of so 
large a country is unexampled in any history ; and the effect has ex- 
ceeded our most sanguine expectations. Universal tumults and all the 
irregularities and violence of mobbish factions naturally arise when legal 
authority ceases ; but how little of this has appeared in the midst of 
the late obstructions of civil government ! . . . Nothing more than 
has been absolutely necessary to carry into execution the spirited reso- 
lutions of a people too sensible to deliver themselves up to oppression 
and slavery. . . . 

'* Order among the people has been remarkably preserved ; few 
crimes have been committed punishable by the judge ; even former 
contentions between one neighbor and another have ceased." 

It is plain by these extracts from the utterances of the new . 
President that Hancock and Adams made no mistake in 
selecting Dr. Langdon as a true patriot, ready to go as far as 
themselves in asserting the liberties of free-born English sub- 
jects. How was he in the other requirements for a college 
president? Dr. Stiles, in 1779, when in his first year of presi- 
dency at Yale, made these observations on the Harvard 
Presidents whom he had known : — 

" Mr. Holyoke was the polite gentleman, of a noble commanding 
presence, and moderated at Commencements with great dignity. He 
was perfectly acquainted with academic matters ; of a good degree of 
Literature, both in languages and sciences, particularly in mathematical- 
mechanic Philosophy ; yet was not of great erudition. Qualified, how- 
ever, exceedingly well for the presidency, especially as he had a good 
Spirit of Government; which was partly natural to him, partly acquired 
from President Leverett, who ruled and governed with great dignity. 
Dr. Locke was scarcely equal to Mr. Holyoke in classical knowledge, 
but much superior to him in the sciences, and in penetration, judgment 

1904.] REV. SAMUEL LANGDON. 211 

and strength of mind. He was excellent and amiable in government, 
though he did not equal the dignity of his predecessor. And yet he 
was a greater literary character. Just entered into the career of glory, 
his sun went into an eclipse. Dr. Langdon's literary character was 
similar to President Holyoke's." 

It will be inferred from the omission of " a Spirit of Govern- 
ment" in Dr. Langdon's portrait that he was lacking in 
discipline, and such I conclude to have been the fact. Yet 
the records of the Corporation and Faculty, which I have 
examined, do not show half the frequency of insurrections 
and tumults among the students that appeared under Dr. 
Holyoke, and less by far than under President Quincy himself, 
who cites John Eliot as saying of Langdon, " He wanted 
judgment and a spirit of government." In a letter to Dr. 
Stiles when he had been nearly five years at Harvard, Dr. 
Langdon said: "I have met with continual difficulties since I 
have been in my present station, by the war and the fluctuat- 
ing medium ; yet I do not repine, as I think divine providence 
pointed out my path of duty." Here is no hint of disorder or 
the perils of false brethren, of which even St. Paul complained, 
and which, I judge, were the real cause of his resignation. 
On the 11th of September, 1780 (the same day that John 
Eliot wrote to his brother-in-law his gossiping version of the 
resignation), Dr. Stiles entered in his diary : " The Reverend 
Dr. Langdon resigned the Presidency of Harvard College on 
account of the dissatisfaction of the scholars ; but not for 
any immorality or impeachment of his character, — it being 
venerable for virtue." 

At a later date (December 21, 1780) Dr. Stiles writes, — 

" Received letters from Mr. Moody, Dummer School master, inclos- 
ing from President Langdon his resignation of the presidency, with the 
acceptance of this resignation by the Overseers, dated Sept. 13. He 
at the same time received great testimonials of his learning and piety. 
He has a call to settle again in the work of the ministry at Rowley. 
This morning I sent a letter to him." 

This entry shows that the Corporation did not make public 
his letter ; indeed, they seem to have been rather ashamed of 
their part in the affair. A month later, (January, 1781) Dr. 
Stiles writes : — 


" President Langdon was installed Pastor of the church at Hampton 
Falls. God grant that he enjoy His presence, and a tranquil old age ! 
This good Gentleman has passed through a great variety in life. His 
example is a very instructive lesson for me. May I profit this by it, at 
least, — not to promise myself any great things in life, and least of all 
any Glory from the Presidency." 

The following October, after a visit to his and Dr. Langclon's 
church at Portsmouth, including two hundred and thirty 
families, Dr. Stiles dined with this u good Gentleman " in the 
small parsonage at Hampton Falls, " where he is settled over 
seventy-two families, — salary ,£42 and eight cords of wood, 
and on Benevolence." By this was probably meant that 
wealthy friends contributed to increase his stipend ; which 
was soon raised by the town to £60. In accepting the situa- 
tion at his new parish, where he remained nearly seventeen 
years, Dr. Langdon wrote : — 

" I have seriously attended the call to be the minister at Hampton 
Falls, given on the eleventh day of December, 1780, — to devote my 
labors in the ministry of the Gospel to the service of the Parish. Not- 
withstanding some discouragements which have appeared in my way, 
and the earnest applications which have been made to me by some 
other parishes, where there was a prospect of a peaceable and quiet 
settlement, — I cannot but apprehend it to be my duty to comply with 
the call of this Parish. 

" Considering the unhappy divided state they have been in for so 
many years past, and hoping I am not mistaken in judging it to be a call 
from God, by the intimation of his Providence, I do hereby declare my 
acceptance of th^ir call, together with the provision made for that part 
of my support which is granted, — the deficiency of which is to be made 
up by the Brethren of the church and congregation. And relying on 
the gracious assistance of our Lord Jesus Christ, I shall make it my 
constant care and labor to fulfil the duties of the Gospel Ministry in 
this place, to the utmost of my abilities, so long as God shall continue 
me among this people." 

This promise was faithfully kept. His predecessor, Paine 
Wingate, a brother-in-law of Colonel Timothy Pickering, and 
with something of the stiffness of that old Essex Cato, had 
kept the town in a broil for years, but finally withdrew in 
1776, and engaged in political life. Dr. Langdon avoided that 
distraction, although he accepted the choice of the town as 
delegate to the State Convention to ratify the Federal Consti- 

1904.] REV. SAMUEL LANGDON. 213 

tuition of 1787, and in that position had a large share in per- 
suading the rural democracy of New Hampshire to accept the 
work of Washington, Madison, Hamilton, and their associates. 
This brought him into active association with his old Ports- 
mouth hearers and friends, John and Woodbury Langdon, 
and with General Sullivan and the Gilmans of Exeter. 

Having now brought back Dr. Langdon to his earliest task of 
indoctrination and pastoral care, it is time to consider where 
he stood theologically. A century and a quarter ago, as in 
more recent days, Harvard College was suspected of heresies 
in dogma. Andrew Eliot, who may have been something of 
a talebearer and mischief-maker like his brother John, told 
Dr. Stiles, in 1778, that he wished Stiles were President at 
Harvard ; and in July, 1778, his father, Dr. Andrew Eliot, 
anxiously wrote : — ■ 

" In a letter from my son by the last post, lie says, * I have received 
a letter from Mr. Bartlett wherein he tells me that Mr. Jonathan Bird 
of ' Hartford, a candidate for the ministry, was his informer relative to 
the prevalence of Deism at Harvard College. ei He told me," says 
Mr. Bartlett, " that one half, or about half of said College were sup- 
posed to be Deists ; and also that two ordained ministers not far from 
Boston were thought to be Deists." He did not name them, nor tell me 
who was his informer. I should rejoice if this should prove a mis- 
take.' Who Mr. Bird is I know not. If he be a son to Mr. Bird of 
New Haven, I should think he was embittered by his father, who was 
expelled from Cambridge." 

This charge of Deism, of course, was a slander. But Dr. 
Stiles in the summer of 1777 seems to have had some question 
about Dr. Langdon's soundness on Original Sin, Election, etc., 
and drew him out one day at Portsmouth, when the President 
was in vacation and visiting his former congregation. This is 
Dr. Stiles' s report of the conversation : — 

" The President has some peculiar ideas in Theology. He is no 
Socinian. The soul that suffered in the body of Christ was not a human 
soul, nor was it the essential Deity, but the Aoyos, — the first-born of 
every creature, a distinct intelligence from that of Jehovah, but inti- 
mately united with Deity, so that God is in him. The original state of 
this world was such that both the vegetable and animal world were sub- 
ject to mutation, revolution, Death : particularly that all animals would 
after a term die, and man among the rest. This was the natural state. 


But God promised Adam in Paradise an exemption from death if he 
obeyed ; but if he disobeyed he should die, — that is, be left to the 
course of nature. This death Adam understood to be a cessation of 
being ; it was not a futurity and perpetuity of misery and suffering. It 
really would have been annihilation, had it not been for the purposes 
of Grace. And so his posterity had no concern in his sin, upon the 
first covenant or command. Least of all was it a part of Adam's 
penalty that he should derive guilt and corrupt nature to his off- 
spring. And so he was not, in this seuse, originally a federal head. 
But upon God's purposing to continue Adam in existence for the 
purpose of Grace, he then became the natural head of his posterity : 
and, as the sentence of death was not reversed, he became a federal 
head, to the purpose of bringing his posterity into a world under a 
natural state of animal mortality, instead of that exemption from this 
natural mortality promised to Adam ; and though not promised to his 
seed, yet would probably have been granted to them also. Hence 
Adam is and becomes a federal head (if not before, yet) after the Fall 
to all his posterity ; so that thereby they are subject to the death of the 
body ; and so ' in Adam all die.' Born into a state of sin, temptation 
and mortality, they all sin ; and the world lieth in wickedness, and they 
deserve future as well as present punishment. God was disposed, from 
the benignity of his nature, to shew mercy ; but it was necessary for the 
dignity of his government that he should shew a testimony of his abhor- 
rence of Sin. This was done in the sufferings of the Mediator, through 
whom God is reconciling the world. ... I did not well see his ideas of 
Christ's atonement and satisfaction. He held Christ's sufferings vica- 
rious, and beyond those of the Martyrs, and so as to be a testimony of 
God's displeasure against sin, but not equal to the sufferings due to sin, 
— the dignity of the person rendering a less suffering an adequate and 
sufficient testimony, against sin. But I did perceive that in his mind 
satisfaction arose from and consisted in the created nature of Jesus 
Christ being upheld by Omnipotence, and so enabled in a few hours to 
sustain a load of intense woe, equal to the misery which lay upon the 
elect, and yet he seemed to conceive a suffering laid upon him, above all 
the pains of natural death, (i. e. of bodily death, even by the torture of 
Crucifixion) something to testify the divine displeasure against sin. 

" The Doctor was (like Dr. Watts), I suppose, originally initiated in 
Calvinism, and became, in the first of his ministry, of the connection of 
Mr. Whitefield, and continues so to this day. An extensive acquaint- 
ance, and a disposition to converse upon and discuss every subject, 
obliged him to meet the objections both of Deists, Arians, Armmians, 
Socinians. Their artillery carried metal rather too heavy for his 
understanding. However, he always appeared to have stood the attack ; 
yet in many places was giving ground. Like a generous and noble 

1904.] REV. SAMUEL LANGDON. 215 

mind, he entered with spirit into the field of Free Inquiry ; he cleared 
much ground, and settled many points profoundly, justly, masterly, and 
like an enlightened Divine; and as to much, also, he is left plunged in 
unfinished researches. Guyse and Doddridge he loves and esteems ; 
but Taylor, whom he renounces, I think, has got the ascendancy and 
greatest hold of his reasoning powers. And yet his notions on Original 

Sin are neither Locke's nor Taylor's, but Dr. [Edwards's ?] 

whose treatise on that subject is unpublished." 

Through the mist of an obsolete terminology, I seem to 
recognize here a rational attempt to free himself from the 
heavy fetters of Calvinism, in which the New England mind 
lay so sadly imprisoned for two centuries. When I was in 
Harvard College (1854), there came over from Shropshire a 
nephew of Bishop Heber, Thomas Cholmondeley., uncle of the 
more recent novelist, Mary Cholmondeley, who stepped out to 
Cambridge to see a few of us, and who had before visited 
Emerson and Thoreau at Concord. When Emerson had 
introduced me to him, as we were w T alking towards the Walden 
woods, and the English theologist was returning from his 
solitary walk therein, Emerson went on to describe him to me. 
" He is better acquainted with things than most travelling 
Englishmen ; they are a singularly verdant race. The English- 
man who stays at home, and attends to what he knows, is one 
of the wisest of mankind ; but their travellers are most unob- 
servant and self-complacent. Cholmondeley told me that he 
went to hear a Mr. Parker in Boston, — thought him able, but 
was shocked at some of his doctrines. He then began talking 
to me [Emerson] about Original Sin, and such things ; but I 
said, ' I see you are speaking of something which had a mean- 
ing once, and the world got good from it, but which is now 
grown obsolete. Those words formerly stood for something, 
— but not now.'" We must say the same, I think, of Dr. 
Langdon's theory of death and salvation, as interpreted by 
Dr. Stiles. The latter looked on himself as " Evangelical," but 
had doubts about his Portsmouth preceder in the First Church 
pulpit. In another part of the diaiy, speaking of his congre- 
gation at Portsmouth (whence he was taken in 1778 to preside 
over Yale College, thereby putting Dr. Dwight's nose out of 
joint, as the ungodly said), Dr. Stiles observed : — 

"The more polite part were ambitious of having a learned sensible 
man ; the middling and lower people were for an Evangelical preacher, 


whether learned or not, — they had not found these united in one man. 
The Evangelical preacher they found in me, and were so united that 
the higher and more fashionable part acquiesced ; though themselves 
could have wished one to have preached more in the air of St. James 
or Paris ; and yet I am told it is their hearty desire for themselves, 
as well as the flock. They all say that they shall never be so united 

It is probable that Dr. Langdon had pleased this Portsmouth 
parish equally well, and that he had " the air of St. James 
[meaning the palace and not the Apostle] or Paris " rather 
more than Dr. Stiles. The latter expressed surprise, July 28, 
1777, that " Dr. Langdon understands all the Apocalypse " ; 
in evidence of which the good old man at Hampton Falls in 
1791 published, through his friend Isaiah Thomas at Worcester, 

"Observations on the Revelation of Jesus Christ to St. John. Which 
comprehend the most approved sentiments of the celebrated Mr. Mede, 
Mr. Lowman, Bishop Newton, and other noted Writers on this Book ; 
and cast much additional Light on the more obscure Prophecies ; 
especially those which point out the Time of the Rise and Fall of 

This work (337 pages) was in part delivered as sermons to 
his seventy families at Hampton Falls, sometimes standing in 
the broad aisle, when a recently broken leg kept him from 
mounting the stairs to the tall pulpit under the sounding-board, 
which I well remember. Dr. Langdon's Antichrist was the 
Roman Church, which, in the storm of the French Revolution, 
seemed to be falling like the mystical Babylon of the Apoca- 
lypse. He thus sets forth his view : — 

'• The capital of the empire of Antichrist is repeatedly called Babylon 
in the Revelation. The name is figurative and mystical : Rome is the 
city really meant. . . . We are plainly informed in the seventeenth 
chapter what kings are to be employed in destroying the great harlot, 
the city and Church of Rome : the very kings who at first agreed in one 
creed, and gave their power to the Beast. These kings will at length 
entirely change their minds, and become the most zealous enemies to 
that ecclesiastical empire which they themselves had established. They 
will find out that Rome has caused insurrections against them, and 
fomented rebellions and seditions; and that the religion they have pro- 
moted has drained away their wealth, encouraged and multiplied drones 
in society, and impoverished and diminished their subjects. In the 
execution of vengeance, the river of wealth which was continually flow- 

1904.] REV. SAMUEL LANGDON. 217 

ing through Rome and the Church will be dried up. Vast revenues 
which the popes formerly received have been greatly diminished by the 
Protestant Reformation. Moreover, when the Church of Rome is no 
longer mixed with the civil polity of the kingdoms, her sources of 
strength as well as wealth will be cut off, and the way prepared for her 
utter ruin. Likewise, the dissolution of the numerous orders of ecclesi- 
astics in the several kingdoms, which Lave been the gates and bars of 
Rome, will leave her exposed to a sudden assault, which may at once 
bring down all her power. Of this we have already seen some ap- 
proaches, in the total suppression of the order of Jesuits, and the 
methods taken in several Roman Catholic kingdoms for the abolition of 
convents. The banishment of the Jesuits, . . . with the suppression 
of convents, may naturally be considered among the things signified 
by the Sixth Vial. . . . The Bishops of Rome had obtained a grant 
of supreme ecclesiastical jurisdiction over all the western churches, 
a.d. 379, and immediately began to exercise it. Of this jurisdiction 
the illustrious Sir Isaac Newton has produced abundant proof, in his 
observations of the power of the eleventh horn of Daniel's fourth 

Neither Newton nor Langdon, if now living, would expound 
Daniel or Revelations ; these two books being no longer 
regarded by scholars as prophecy, but as history mingled with 
invective and fable. Yet a century ago it would have been 
sad heresy to intimate that any of the alleged canonical books 
of the Bible were to be read exactly like other books ; and 
prediction by divine order has ceased to interest minds of the 
rank of Langdon's or Newton's. When, therefore, Quincy 
spoke of Dr. Langdon as u credulous and visionary," he probably 
had in mind such writings as the above. But how few of the 
contemporaries of Dr. Langdon rose above the religious tradi- 
tions in which they had been educated! It appears that 
Langdon had been computing and astrologizing on the meaning 
of the Vials and Horns and Beasts in the Apocalypse for 
half a century when he published this book, and had announced 
to his friends that nothing " directly tending to the destruction 
of Antichrist's empire might be expected until about the year 
1760." Then it came; the Jesuits lost control and were 
banished, - — next came the American Revolution ; and now, in 
1791, the outlook is dark for Antichrist : — 

" The world is roused to a sense of civil and religious liberty by the 
spirit of America. France is searching the foundations of despotism, 



and establishing on its ruins the freedom of a great nation ; and God 
has given them a king to be the restorer of liberty, and a second Wash- 
ington to command their national troops. May we not look for events 
more and more remarkable, until all the nations of Europe shake off 
the yoke of ecclesiastical tyranny, and assert the rights of nations and 
of conscience ? " 

This was a generous anticipation, shared by Coleridge and 
Wordsworth, and thousands of the best men of the eighteenth 
century; and it is to the credit of the old doctor of divinity 
that he kept so youthful an outlook on the world, after all his 
experiences. What Dr. Stiles reported in 1777, in regard to 
Dr. Langdon's peculiar opinions, was confirmed by Langdon 
himself in 1794, when he printed at Exeter, New Hampshire, 
his " Remarks on Dr. Hopkins' System of Doctrines." This 
was perhaps his last publication, and in style it is one of the 
best, — • using now and then that mild wit which he had for 
purposes of gentle satire. As is well known, though few now 
trouble themselves about Dr. Hopkins and his Hopkins- 
ians, they laid great stress on " disinterested benevolence," 
which phrase gives point to this passage in Dr. Langdon's 
f Remarks": — 

"That I may not be thought deficient in the great duty of disinter- 
ested benevolence, I will leave Dr. Hopkins in the full enjoyment of 
his happiness in the prospect of that millennium which he has so par- 
ticularly described. That there will be a millennium I cannot doubt. 
But that all wicked men will first of all be destroyed by wars, pestilence, 
earthquakes, famine, etc., and none but good Christians remain, who 
will propagate their own faith from generation to generation, until Gog 
and Magog arise, is not quite so clear. Yet, since he is so very con- 
fident that such a happy state is drawing nigh, as to write a dedication 
of his work to the Inhabitants of the world in that glorious Era, I will 
say nothing to prevent its reaching to their time." 

John Eliot, in his youthful attack on the new President of 
his College, in 1774, scoffs a little at Dr. Langdon's exposition of 
Romans. It is clear that the worthy pastor had a theory about 
Paul and the two long Epistles ascribed to him, — Romans and 
Hebrews. He told Dr. Stiles that they were very clear to him ; 
and in this final essay in rebuke of Dr. Hopkins, he says : — 

" I was very unwilling to find any fault, and hoped to see everything 
written with clearness, and according to the simplicity of the Gospel. 


1904.] REV. SAMUEL LANGDON. 219 

But my hope has been greatly disappointed. I see all the subtilties of 
artful reasoning made use of, instead of a plain manifestation of the 
truth. If the Apostles had gone through the world preaching in the 
same manner, few would have understood them, and they must have 
taken very particular pains with every new convert, to acquaint him fully 
with their meaning, and teach him all the refinements of their system. 
But they were content with plain reasoning from facts, addressing 
themselves to the common sense of mankind. What they taught was 
always important, never designed to amuse with useless speculations or 
curious questions, but to enlighten the understanding, and bring men 
into subjection to Christ's government. The Holy Spirit has designedly 
given Christians a concise system of those evangelical doctrines which 
the Apostles preached everywhere, in two excellent Epistles of Paul, to 
the Romans and to the Hebrews." 

Dr. Langdon continued to preach until within a few weeks 
of his death, which preceded that of Washington by little 
more than two years, though he was nine } T ears older than the 
General. His friend Dr. Stiles, though four years younger 
than Dr. Langdon, died in 1795, two years earlier. They had 
been good friends for many } T ears, and it was with Dr. Lang- 
don's entire good will that Dr. Stiles succeeded him for a year 
or two in the great Portsmouth parish, which both of them 
left to become college presidents. Dr. Langdon retained his 
interest in the Portsmouth house till death, 1 and it passed, 
in consequence of his daughter's marriage with Dr. John 
Gocldard, into the possession of that gentleman. At his 
death or earlier it went to his daughter, the granddaughter 
of Dr. Langdon, whose married name was Pickering, and 
it is her daughter, Mrs. Mary Pickering Harris, who now 
owns and occupies it. No portrait of President Langdon 
has yet been found ; and yet, like his distinguished neigh- 
bor in Hampton Falls, Colonel, Judge, Speaker, and Presi- 
dent Weare, he was not too modest to sit for his picture. 2 He 

1 By his will it appears that Dr. Langdon had made a deed of gift of this 
house to Ills son Richard, then of Portsmouth ; but he afterward removed to 
North Carolina, and the house passed to his sister, Mrs. Goddard, who left it to 
her daughter, Mrs. Pickering. 

2 Mr. Paul H. Langdon, of Augusta, Georgia, writes me that there was a por- 
trait of his great-grandfather the Doctor; that it was taken to Worcester and 
got into the "Library or Academy of Arts and Sciences at Worcester," but that 
in moving into a new building it was lost, or fell into the possession of some one 
unknown. He adds: "Mr. D. S. Messenger was one of the trustees of that 
library, and informed me that he had made diligent effort to find the portrait. 


died November 27, 1797, leaving a small but very learned 
library to " the Church at Hampton Falls for the Use of the 
Ministry." Some thirty or forty volumes out of more than a 
'hundred still remain there, and have a special case in the 
Town Library. A few of them, purchased through my me- 
diation by Theodore Parker, are now in the Boston Public 
Library ; others are scattered among the descendants of his 
successors in the pulpit or of his parishioners. 

The College presidency of Langdon, though a conspicuous 
episode in his active life of seventy-four years, was but an 
episode ; laborious and painful in its conditions, but more 
honorable to him than to those who caused his election and 
his retirement. He was installed by a kind of subterfuge on 
the part of the Fellows, in order to avoid admitting the new 
mandamus Councillors and the lieutenant-governor of the 
Province as Overseers, or allowing the question of their right 
to be raised. It was feared or known that they would oppose, 
and so the clerical Overseers waived their right to be present 
at the instalment. We owe a knowledge of this fact to the 
invaluable diary of Dr. Stiles, which says (1774), — 

" October 28, at an adjourned meeting, the Overseers voted to leave 
the instalment to the Fellows, who installed Dr. Langdon without the 
presence of the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor and Council ; and thus 
avoided determining the question whether the new Councillors were 

From the same diary we learn the value of the College 
funds and the salaries of the President and professors. All 
the funds in 1774, including the Hollis funds, gave an income 
of £900 ; the General Court gave £450 yearly, and the fees, 
etc. brought up the income to £1,500 in Lawful money, — 
15,000. The President had from the Province grant, £200, 
and expected £240 in fees; but Dr. Langdon never received 
so much. Two professors got £150 each; the other, £200; 

His son-in-law, James Greene, a lawyer of Worcester, or some member of his 
family may be able to give information about it. It may possibly have been 
found since Mr. Messenger's death." It has occurred to me that this portrait 
may have been sent to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at Boston, 
of which Dr. Langdon was an original charter member, for there has never been 
a society of that name at Worcester. Should any of my readers know any por- 
trait, even a small silhouette, of Dr. Langdon, at any period of his life, I will 
thank him to communicate with me at Concord, Massachusetts. — F. B. S. 


1904.] REV. SAMUEL LANGDON. 221 

the four tutors £100 each, and the malcontent librarian £50. 
It is doubtful if Dr. Langdon's yearly salary averaged £150 
in silver ; but he had property in New Hampshire, and was 
comparatively independent, — which makes the account by 
John Eliot, soon to be quoted, seem improbable in several 
points. But few public exercises occurred during his six years' 
presidency, owing to the disturbed times; but of two exhibi- 
tions, 1779 and 1780, we have accounts. Dr. Stiles writes: 

June 18, 1779. "A new and very public examination of candidates 
for the degree of A.B. was celebrated at Harvard College, — at least 
Examination was attended in an uncommon manner. The Corporation 
and Overseers were present on the occasion. In the afternoon there 
was a procession to the Meeting-house, when President Langdon began 
with prayer, and then delivered a Latin Oration. There followed a 
salutatory Oration, a forensic Dispute, syllogistic Disputes in Latin on 
two questions ; an Hebrew Oration, a Dialogue, an Anthem. These 
were all the academic exercises of Commencement, except conferring 
degrees upon the candidates. Yet the Corporation, with consent of the 
Overseers, conferred the doctorate of Laws upon Major General Gates, 
and the French consul residing at Boston." 

This was three years after the same degree was given to 
Washington. The diploma conferring that honor was com- 
posed by Dr. Langdon, and stands on the records of the 
Corporation in his bold and legible script. It recited in 
picturesque Latin Washington's public career up to April, 
1776, and spoke of him as "Imperator prseclarus, enjus 
scientia et amor patriae undique patent"; who had been 
chosen to that "Consessus Americanus celeberrimus" by his 
fellow-citizens ; " deinde, postulante patria, sedem in Virginia 
amcenissimam et res proprias perlubenter reliquit, ut per 
omnes castrorum labores et pericula, nulla mercede accepta, 
Nov-Angliam ab armis Britannorum, iniquis et crudelibus, 
liberaret, et Colonias ceteras tueretur." 

Then, after briefly relating his rescue of Boston from the 
" naves et copias hostium," the diploma goes on to confer the 
grade J.U.D., commonly abbreviated now LL.D., thus : — 

" Sciatis igitur, quod nos Praeses et Socii Collegii Harvardini in 
Cantabrigia Nov-Anglorum (consentientibus honorandis admodum et 
reverendis Academise nostrse Inspectoribus) Dominum supradictum, 
summo honore dignum, Georgium Washington, Doctorem Utri usque 


Juris, turn Naturae et Gentium, turn Civilis, statuimus et creavimus, 
eique simul dedimus et concessiruus omnia jura, privilegia et honores ad 
istum gradum pertinentia." 

The only criticism I would make on the Latinity of this 
document is that an occasional use of " atque " and its abbre- 
viation "ac" would relieve the uniformity of the dozen " ets " 
in it. 

In September, 1779, Dr. Langdon had a shaping hand in 
those articles of the Massachusetts State Constitution that re- 
late to Harvard College ; which in this formal document is 
styled " the University at Cambridge," varying from the form 
used in honoring Washington. The provisions relating to the 
University have been proved by experience to be sagacious 
and useful,- — qualities that mark the work of Langdon when- 
ever he touched on public affairs and left his clerical chi- 
meras and predictions. Clarendon's objurgation against the 
English clergy — " who know the least and take the worst 
measure of human affairs, of all mankind that can write and 
read " — could never apply to this wise cleric. 

In the spring of 1780, shortly before his resignation, the 
College gave a May Exhibition, of which I find on the 
records this programme, with notes of identification added 
by me : — 

" Latin salutatory, by David Leonard Barnes ; 

Forensic Dispute on Emigration, by Dudley Atkins Tyng of New- 
buryport, and George Henry Hall. 

An English Dialogue by Nehemiah Mason, Arnold Welles and 
Samuel Williams. 

A Hebrew Oration, by Isaac Reed. 

A Greek Dialogue by Bezaleel Howard and Elijah Paine, (of 

A Forensic Dispute on Toleration, by Joseph Prince, T. W. Russell 
and Jacob White. 

An Original Composition (English) by Peter French. 

A Poetic Composition on the Progress of Literature, by Samuel 
Dexter of Boston, afterward Secretary of War, etc. under Madison. 

A Latin Dialogue, by John Davis of Plymouth, afterward Judge and 
President of the Historical Society, — aud Abiel Hey wood of Concord, 
— afterward town physician and town clerk there for many years. 

A Latin Ode, by William Croswell. 

Some Astronomical Calculations, bv a student not named." 

1904.] REV. SAMUEL LANGDON. 223 

I also find that some theses were proposed (probably by 
the President) which the Faculty unanimously disclaimed, 
in the following summer. This may have been connected 
with the insubordination now to be recounted. 

The most minute statement concerning President Langdon's 
resignation that I have seen in print is found in a letter of 
September 11, 1780, from the same John Eliot, — by this 
time a settled minister in his father's Boston church and an 
Overseer of the College. It is fuller than the account given 
by Quincy, though the latter does more justice to Dr. Lang- 
don's letter, and this is its substance, — the date being two 
days before the Overseers and Corporation accepted the 
resignation : — 

'* I shall be very particular in informing you of every circumstance 
[to Dr. Belknap at Dover], for I know you to be a very particular 
man, and that you are accurate in collecting things in order to form an 
opinion, and as accurate in your judgment when all circumstances are 
before you. The President has long been growing unpopular, more 
especially among the students of the College. So disgusting hath he 
been in his whole deportment, that they would have held him in detesta- 
tion, if this sensation had not been absorbed in mere thorough contempt. 
Yet, after all which can be said, all his foibles did not amount to a 
vice when completely converged into one point of view ; much less un- 
worthy doth he appear when these are separated from each other, and 
blended with his good qualities. As to the total disqualification for the 
office he sustained, I always had the same opinion which I hold now, 
that he was no ways proper to appear in the station ; and that no man 
who wished well to him or to the interest of Harvard College would, 
with the same opinion as mine own, not rather have seen him else- 

[This amounts to saying that John Eliot, at the sapient age of twenty, 
had formed an opinion which he continued to hold at six-and-twenty ; 
and that if others held the same opinion, they would think as John 
Eliot did, — which resembles an identical equation], " Sed sic visum 
est super is, — at least to the Corporation, who were, the immediate 

" His resignation was as surprising to me as it was to any person the 
furthest distant from the College. It happened, it seems, in this mau- 
ner. The scholars unanimously formed a petition, which was to be 
presented to the Corporation, begging them to remove the President. 
What the articles were can be known but imperfectly, as they came to 
a determination to conceal the contents. Among other things, tho', I 
hear that his unbecoming way of addressing the Deity was one. There 


was a committee chosen to acquaint the President with the petition, 
who addressed him in these words: 'As a man of genius and knowledge 
we respect you ; as a man of piety and virtue we venerate you ; as a 
President we despise you.' " 

This does not seem a very probable account, and is not 
confirmed by President Quincy, who seems to have had no 
difficulty in ascertaining the charges made by the three upper 
classes with the connivance of Librarian Winthrop. They 
were " impiety, heterodoxy, unfitness for the office of preacher 
of the Christian religion, and still more for that of President." 
If the Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors, to the number of 
ninety, are allowed to be better judges of piet}^, orthodoxy, 
and fitness to preach than the thousands of grave men and 
women to whom Dr. Langdon had been preaching for a whole 
generation, and the thousand or more to whom he preached 
acceptably for seventeen years longer, — which does not look 
reasonable at first thought, — then these charges might be 
said to have some foundation. Mr. Quincy says, however: 
" There was not a shadow of foundation for any one of these 
charges except the last, — of which the spirit in which this 
insolence was received may be considered an evidence." It 
might be an indication, but hardly evidence, as the term is un- 
derstood in law. No other evidence appears, except what 
Mr. Quincy terms "a combination of students, to whom he 
had become obnoxious, and whose dissatisfaction was counte- 
nanced, if not excited, by men connected with the govern- 
ment of the institution." He adds that Dr. Langdon was 
ignorant of his unpopularity ; which, in a man so sensitive, is 
very good evidence that it was no more than one of those tem- 
porary gusts of feeling from which President Quincy himself 
suffered while in office. But let us hear the impartial and 
compassionate young Christian Endeavorer further, — I mean 
John Eliot, set. 26 : — 

" Dr. Langdon now added another to his many imprudences. He 
declared to the scholars that he was sensible of his incapacity for the 
office, imputing it to the weak state of his nerves, aud gave them a 
promise that he would resign. He prepared his resignation to be pre- 
sented to the Board of Overseers, at their meeting last Thursday. 
[This would be September 7, if Eliot's letter is correctly dated ; but 
in fact it was received by the Corporation September 1 and accepted 

1904.] REV. SAMUEL LANGDON. 225 

September 13, — six years, lacking a month, since the Corporation in- 
stalled him without the presence of the Overseers, in order to avoid 
recognizing the Royal Councillors as Overseers.] 

"The forthputting, officious gentleman, Dr. Gordon [the historian 
of our Revolution, then preaching at Roxbury, and an Overseer], 
now suffered his zeal to boil over, and persuaded the President (lit 
credo) that he might still remain in office, and that he would be his ad- 
vocate at the Board of Overseers. At the meeting Mr. Bowdoin read 
the resignation. It was well drawn up. Nothing was said of the un- 
easiness with the students. One would suppose the whole originated 
with himself. He said the place was disagreeable to him ; that he 
found himself so debilitated by nervous disorders that he could not go 
through with his course of duty. ' My memory fails,' said he, ' my 
taste for academical studies decreases ; my fondness for shew and pub- 
lic notice is lost ; and I wish heartily to retire.' [I have already 
pointed out that the letter does not warrant this construction.] Ho 
then described very pathetically the disadvantageous circumstances of 
his coming to Cambridge, and the many losses and troubles he had met 
with during his continuance there ; requesting that he might live in the 
provincial mansion house, etc." 

He really only asked that his family might remain there till 
his house in Portsmouth was ready ; and there is nothing to 
show that he lived there a day after September 13. Early in 
October, the General Court being in session, he presented a 
schedule of his legal salary for five years, ten months, and 
thirty days, at £200 in specie per annum, and amounting 
to £1182 1 3s. 6d. — of which he had received the equivalent of 
only £685 7s. lid. This left a balance due him of £497 5s. Id. 
The Senate and the House voted him £497 10s. at once ; and 
a warrant for that sum was drawn up on October 3, twenty 
days after his resignation took effect, and put in Dr. Langdon's 
hands. This original warrant may be seen in the Secretary's 
archives at the State House, where I recent^ examined it. 
It gives him the sum named (about $1656), " for and in con- 
sideration of his faithful discharge of the duties of the office of 
President, and to enable him to remove his family and effects." 
Mr. Quincy says that the Overseers " acknowledged the rea- 
sonableness of his requests, and the inadequacy of his salary 
and emoluments for his support, and engaged to use their 
influence with the legislature to obtain a grant in compensa- 
tion for the deficiencies." Probably they did so, though no 
record of this appeai-s on the files of the General Court, where 



Dr. Langdon's petitions and the votes of the two houses are 

John Eliot went on in his sympathetic account thus : — 

" Dr. Langdon is really an object of pity. Even the scholars who 
have been so active in his dismission think so. They attested to his 
good character in a unanimous vote presented to the Overseers, wherein 
they mentioned him as a man of learning, and most excellent character, 
rendered him many thanks for his past services, and expressed the most 
earnest desire that the remainder of his days may be comfortable and 
happy. This vote is also accompanied with a subscription for some- 
thing by way of present. I believe that many thousand dollars will be 
subscribed for him, if Gordon don't spoil the whole by his impertinence 
and nonsensical reveries. He blazed away at the meeting ; insisted 
upon it that this whole proceeding arose from the mere malice of one of 
the governors of the College (Mr. Wiuthrop the librarian), who had 
the impudence to tell Mr. and Mrs. Langdon to their heads that he had 
long sought an opportunity to revenge an affront offered to him by the 
President some years since, and now that he was gratified." 

Tantcene animis celestibus irce ? I apprehend this is the only 
instance, in the long story of Dr. Langdon's life, when he 
''offered an affront" to anybody. He was a man of sincere 
politeness and, as his conduct on this occasion showed, of ad- 
mirable Christian forgiveness; taking, in the true spirit of a 
gentleman, the whole burden of his withdrawal upon himself, 
but as little likely to accept a present from the insurgents who 
had insulted him as President Quincy himself. As for this 
alleged subscription of " many thousand dollars," it is nowhere 
heard of except in this Eliot letter, so full of guesses and 
predictions. Dr. Langdon's statement to the General Court 
shows that, in May preceding, $5,000 in paper only meant in 
silver $150, and would hardly pay his support for two months, 
as prices then were. Moreover, the students were themselves 
so poor that they asked to be excused from Commencement 
exercises because they could not afford the cost ; so that we 
may suppose this lordly subscription existed mainly in the 
warm imagination of Eliot. Considering how he had been 
treated, and was to be still further, by those who had con- 
tracted to pay him his salary, Dr. Langdon must have felt 
as did that minister who, taking up a collection and getting 
nothing but three buttons and a counterfeit bill, raised his 
hands to Heaven from his inverted hat, and said, " I thank 

1004.] RET. SAMUEL LANGDON. 227 

Thee, Lord, that I have got iny hat back from this congre- 
gation." Eliot goes on : — 

Dr. Gordon " moved the matter should be inquired into, the students 
should be severely censured, and the whole scene of iniquity should be 
unfolded. Fiat justitia t ruat cesium, he repeated, and seemed in a pet, 
as if the rest of us were a party joined together to destroy the Presi- 
dent. We felt as much as he could be sensible of, but judged very dif- 
ferently from him about the whole affair. We see the absolute neces- 
sity of his leaving Cambridge, which the Doctor himself could not 
deny; notwithstanding him, aim to do something. We thought it best 
he should depart as privately as possible, that the circumstances might 
not be too much the subject of speculation, but that things might ap- 
pear as if all things came and were determined by himself. We knew 
that a little matter would cause the subscription paper to Mag, and that 
any measures to censure the students would provoke them to with- 
draw their generosity." 

Messieurs the students seem to have been absolutely in con- 
trol of the College in this strange affair, — far more so than 
when, in 1776, the} r revolted in a body, at the leading of Asa 
Dunbar, grandfather of Henry Thoreau, rather than put up 
with bad butter at their Commons. Finally, says Eliot, their 
submissive Overseer: "For mine own part, I wish that they 
had first accepted the resignation ; but the Overseers saw tit 
to appoint a committee, for the mere formality of a consulta- 
tion with him, and they are to report next Thursday " (Sep- 
tember 14). When that day came, the Corporation had 
accepted the resignation, which Dr. Langdon had probably 
never thought of withdrawing, and he soon left Cambridge, 
allowing the shabby Overseers and Corporation to make their 
own disposal of the publicity of their conduct, and the k ' gener- 
osity " of the impudent students and envious Faculty. They 
seem to have carried out the Eliot idea of secrecy ; for they 
never published Dr. Langdon's letter, and almost no mention 
of the matter remains on the files of the College correspondence, 
so far as I can discover. Mr. Quincy found a letter of Mr. 
Storer, the successor of Hancock as Treasurer (October 20, 
1781), in which that member of the Corporation asserted his 
opinion that if Dr. Langdon had asked their advice, the Cor- 
poration would have requested him " to have deferred your 
intention to some future time." And Mr. Quincy adds : — 


" It is probable that Dr. Langdon became subsequently aware that the 
students had been made the instruments of others, possibly of men con- 
nected with the government of the institution, and that the feeling of 
self-distrust, which led to his resignation, had been succeeded by feel- 
ings of a very different character." 

For " self-distrust " I should here read " self-respect," and 
there is no reason to suppose that this feeling ever changed. 
When Dr. Langdon found that his warrant on the State 
Treasurer, Henry Gardner, for about $1,656 in " bills of the 
new emission " could not be paid in October, 1780, because Mr. 
Gardner alleged there was no money in the Treasury, he waited 
patiently till September 3, 1782, when upon a petition from 
him of the previous summer the General Court referred it to a 
Committee, which reported in the Senate, July 3, 1783, that 
the full sum of £497 10s. should be paid in silver. The Sen- 
ate voted this. Samuel Adams, the old and stanch friend of 
Dr. Langdon, signed the resolve as President of the Senate in 
a trembling hand, and sent it down to the House, which stin- 
gily non-concurred, July 11, 1783. Nothing further was done 
until March 22, 1784, when the Senate again passed a resolve, 
again signed by Adams as President, by Tristram Dalton as 
Speaker of the House, and by John Hancock as Governor, that 
the sum of <£320 should be paid to Dr. Langdon in specie, " on 
condition of his returning the warrant of 1780 for £497 10s. 
to the Treasury." Upon this the Hampton Falls pastor, in a 
petition dated June 8, 1784, again addressed the repudiators 
of Massachusetts in a petition thus: — 

That your Petitioner accepted a call from the Honorable Corporation 
and Overseers of Harvard College to the office of President of that Uni- 
versity, and was introduced into that office on the 14th day of October, 
1774: that in the full prospect of the horrors of war, added to the ordi- 
nary difficulties and labors of that important station, he nevertheless was 
encouraged to engage both in the service of the College and the liberties 
of his Country, by a persuasion that he might securely rely on the 
public honor for the same support which had for many years been 
granted to the Presidents of that literary Society : 

That when he found both his body and mind so much overborne 
with extreme burdens and fatigue that it was best to resign his office, it 
appeared that his expenses had very much exceeded the annual grants ; 
and that he could not pay the sums which he had borrowed to defray 
his necessary expenses. 

1901.] REV. SAMUEL LAKGDON. 229 

That your petitioner in 1780 presented to the General Court then 
sitting, a true state of the arrearages of his salary, amounting to £497 
5s. Id. lawful silver money; upon which the General Court granted 
the sum of £497 10s. ; for which he received a warrant to be paid in 
bills of the new emission, which the Court then estimated, upon the 
authority of Congress, as equal to silver. That your petitioner re- 
peatedly presented the said warrant to the Treasurer, as long as there 
seemed any ground of hope that the aforesaid bills might obtain a cur- 
rency at their original value ; but never could procure payment, — the 
Treasury not being supplied. 

That ever since it became evident that the said emission was 
greatly depreciated, your petitioner has been endeavoring to obtain his 
just arrearages by applying to the General Court for a new warrant on 
the Treasury ; that the Resolve passed in the last Court, on the 23rd 
of March, granting only £320 specie, in lieu of £497 10s. specie, 
(which is justly due according to the rules of Honor and Equity, as 
may easily appear by a review of the State of the account annexed to 
this petition), would suggest to your petitioner very painful ideas, if he 
did not persuade himself that the said Resolve was founded on some 
misapprehension of the real state of the case : 

That your petitioner is not able to discover any reason why the 
full sum should not be granted in specie, together with the interest of 
what has been so long due ; especially as he himself is paying interest 
for money which the defect of the annual grants constrained him to 

Your petitioner therefore earnestly looks up to this August Court, 
in which he views the collected wisdom and justice of a most respectable 
Common-wealth, and prays that your Honors would rectify the mistake 
on which the Resolve of last March in this case is evidently founded, 
and grant him the balance due for his services while in office, with the 
interest, — not as if his claim had been only in bills, at a depreciated 
value, but as it really was and is due in specie : that, after the peculiar 
labors and difficulties he endured in his public station, and hearty exer- 
tions in the cause of his country, he may not be cut off from that sup- 
port which has been readily granted to Presidents of that Society not 
exposed to the same hardships and dangers. 

And your petitioner shall ever pray, etc. 

Sam'l Langdon. 

This plain and convincing statement was referred, June 14, 
1784, to a committee consisting of Abraham Fuller of the 
Senate and Thatcher and Mitchell of the House, who examined 
the matter in the recess of the General Court, and found the 
following state of the account : — 





1775, Oct. 14, 



1777, Feb. 20, 

224, 5. 5. 

224, 5. 


1778, Feb. 2, 


56, 19, 


1778, July 16, 


45, 13, 


1779, April 1, 

123, 18 

11, 4, 


1779, May 18, 


13, 18, 


1779, June 19, 

696, 2, 

48, 15, 


1780, Feb. 1, 


60, 4, 


1780, May 11, 


£102, 0, 


(not footed) 

£763, 1, 


March 23, Grant, 


Received, £1083, 2. 

The whole amount of his salary at £200, per an. 1182, 13, 6. 
Balance, 99, 11, 6. 

1784, Oct. 27, It don't appear that Doct. 

Langdon has ever received a warrant for £320, 
agreeable to a Resolve of the 23rd March, 1784, 
which was to be consideration in full for his 

(signed) John Deming, 
Thos. W alley, 


The Committee (Fuller, Thatcher, and Mitchell) reported a 
Resolve for X320, in full for all services (on condition that 
Dr. Langdon return the warrant for the larger sum, issued 
October 3, 1780), with the addition of the balance shown above, 
of £99, 11, 6, to bring the sum in specie up to the amount due. 
It passed the Senate, November 8, 1784, Adams again signing 
it, was sent down to the House, and again the House stingily 
non-concurred. Dr. Langdon had declined to take out the 
warrant for £320, and on the 18th of January, 1785, he thus 
wrote to the Speaker of the House from Hampton Falls: — 

S R , — I have lately discovered an error inadvertently committed 
by me in that State of my account which accompanied my petition to 
the honored Court for the year 1782. I have given credit for £2,000 
received February 1, and again for £5,000 received on May 11, (1780). 
Whereas the former grant was 2,000 and the latter 3,000, the whole 
sum for that year being but £5,000 ; so that there is an error of £2,000 

1 Error, see below ; it should be £3000. 



against myself, which may easily appear by the record of the said 
grants. But yet the sums carried off against the aforesaid grants, as 
reduced to silver, in my account stand right, as the grants really were 
made ; so that the only error lies in writing 5,000 instead of 3,000. 
I pray, therefore, that you would convey this information to the Court 
if you think proper ; together with this additional plea in support 
of my petition, — viz. that £200 a year having been found neces- 
sary for many years past, to defray the charges of the support of the 
Presidents of the College, it cannot be supposed that less than half 
that sum was sufficient, when every article of provision and clothing 
was nearly double to the present price. And every man must think it 
very injurious to perform the duties of a public and important office, in 
the midst of the most extraordinary disadvantages and difficulties, and 
be obliged to furnish the greatest part of the costs of his own support. 

Submitting the foregoing to your discretion, I am, S r , your very 
obedient serv't, 

Sam'l Langdon. 
The Honorable Samuel Allen Otis, Speaker of the 

Assembly of the C. Wealth of Massachusetts. 

Whether the good man did accept the reduction in his debt 
and took the $1,066, in lieu of the $2,152, including interest 
for five years, to which he was justly entitled, did not appear 
till this year, 1904. But since the original warrant for $1,656 
is now in the archives, the presumption was that he took the 
smaller sum, — thus recovering his New Hampshire hat from 
his Massachusetts congregation after five or six years. This 
presumption becomes fact by an examination of the State ar- 
chives for 1794. In that year Dr. Langdon renewed his peti- 
tion for pecuniary justice ; stating that he had been compelled 
to draw the insufficient warrant of 1784, in order to pay the 
borrowed money. But now, "the justice of Congress" having 
supplied Massachusetts with a repayment of some war ex- 
penses incurred in 1775-76, Dr. Langdon trusts that justice 
will be done him also from this fund. The legislative com- 
mittee cut down his claim by an erroneous computation, but 
still recommended a grant of about $300 ; which passed the 
House this time, but was non-concurred by the Senate. Pos- 
sibly his friends John Hancock and John Langdon may have 
made up to him from their riches what the State was too nig- 
gardly to pay: — it is even possible that he borrowed the 
money on which he had paid interest from his former parish- 
ioner, John Langdon, or his brother Woodbury in Ports- 


mouth. At any rate, Dr. Langdon did pay his own debts 
like an honest man. But the State never paid him in full ; 
yet in 1784, while this affair was pending in Boston, he 
issued a new and improved edition of his map of 1761, and 
dedicated it to Hancock, then Governor of Massachusetts, and 
Judge Weare, then President of New Hampshire, and to the 
Councils of the two States. So rare has this improved map 
become, that I have not yet been able to procure a copy good 
enough to engrave in my History of New Hampshire, wherein 
brief mention is made of this honored citizen. 

When John Eliot came to put Dr. Langdon in his Biograph- 
ical Dictionary (1809), he made some amends for his harsh and 
shallow judgments on a wiser and better man than himself, 
in the matter of the College Presidency. It still remains for 
the University to do a like penance by erecting his tomb and 
providing his biography ; toward which this sketch is a slight 

Mr. Jame3 F. Rhodes, having been called on, spoke as 
follows : — 

I shall say a word about the joint meeting of the American 
Historical Association and the American Economic Associa- 
tion in New Orleans last December. The Associations had 
never met in the South before. Washington was considered 
as a border line between the North and the South, and was 
supposed to satisfy any demand for a Southern meeting, and 
the project of going to New Orleans was looked at askance by 
the men who had most to do with the details of the manage- 
ment of the Historical Association, and the Association was 
taken there by the advocacy of those who concerned them- 
selves rather with its broad interests. It was owing to the 
enthusiastic support of Captain Mahan, Mr. Adams, and Mr. 
Lawrence Lowell that the Council fixed upon the Crescent 
City. " Now is the time to go South," they said, " and if we 
go South, let us go to the heart of it." Their advice was 
wise. The meeting was a decided success. 

It was not a success in a large attendance on the appointed 
meetings, but it was a success in giving those who attended it 
a lively impression of a picturesque city which will last a life- 
time. In the traditions of the Association none will be more 


vivid than the recollections of that meeting in New Orleans. 
It was " the most representative assemblage of the two Associa- 
tions ever had," was one expert opinion. " The largest attend- 
ance " was another ; but the meetings for the reading of papers 
were, with the exception of the first meeting, not well at- 
tended. The professors and instructors and the ladies, who 
came in large numbers, preferred to read the book of New 

u Who knows most about historic London?" I heard Mr. 
Choate, our ambassador, ask in a speech at a dinner of the 
Worshipful Company of Fishmongers. " It is not you gentle- 
men who on business bent go to the city every day of your 
lives. No ; it is the Yankee schoolmarm whom you may see 
wandering about with a red book under her arm, questioning 
the policeman on every corner." 

So it was in New Orleans. I must premise that one of the 
cars on the special train from New York was rilled with 
school-teachers from Lowell. The " Yankee schoolmarm " 
therefore was there in force, observing, indefatigable in seeing 
everything that there was to be seen. I can give an account 
of one of her days, which was the day too of many professors 
and their wives: Rose at five o'clock; went to the French 
market to drink coffee and enjoy the animated scene; walked 
through the picturesque Creole quarter ; crossed the Missis- 
sippi on a ferry boat to get an idea of the vast river ; at eleven 
went to de'jeuner at Madame Begum's. The dejeuner lasted 
two hours, and was presumably cooked by the Madame and 
served by her husband and sons. In the afternoon visited 
one of the curious cemeteries and "did" the American quar- 
ter ; dined at the Cafe* Antoine and went to the French Opera; 
reached the hotel at midnight. This was magnificent, but 
hardly a routine meeting. 

The most interesting meeting was one held on the morning 
of the first day at the Cabildo, a building of the Spaniard. 
The room in which we met was rectangular in shape, of 
fine proportions, and in it the sovereignty of Louisiana was 
transferred from Spain to France and from France to the 
United States. It was also where President McKinley was 
received, the only President who has ever visited New Or- 
leans. It is now the room of the Supreme Court of Louisiana, 
and on the walls are portraits of all or nearly all of the judges 



of the Supreme Court since Louisiana has belonged to the 
United States. 

Never, I think, has the Association met in so historical a 
place, and never have the surroundings seemed so in keeping 
with the profession of historians. The programme had the 
proper flavor. The President of the Louisiana Historical So- 
ciety welcomed the American Historical Association, and the 
papers were all connected with Louisiana. Mr. Dunning read 
Professor Sloane's paper on "World Aspects of the Louisiana 
Purchase. " Judge Howe discoursed on " The Civil and the 
Common Law in the Louisiana Purchase." Dr. McCaleb 
read of u New Orleans and the Aaron Burr Conspiracy." Mr. 
Thwaites told in a witty and engaging manner u The Story 
of Lewis and Clark's Journals," and Dr. Shephard dilated on 
" Louisiana in the Spanish Archives." 

Two judges of the Supreme Court honored the meeting 
with their presence, and near the close of the session came a 
commander of a Spanish warship, the Rio de la Plata, who 
came to New Orleans to take part in the great civic cele- 
bration of the hundredth anniversary of the transfer of 
Louisiana to the United States. At the luncheon which was 
served by the Louisiana Historical Society, the commander 
displayed the wonderful courtesy and polished manners of his 
country. One could not help thinking of the war six years 
ago, nor help fearing that one might inadvertently make some 
allusion which would hurt the feelings of our visitor; but the 
urbanity of the Spaniard put every one at his ease, and we 
talked as if the friendly relations of our nations had never 
been disturbed. I was glad to introduce to him two members 
of the Association who talked with him fluently in his own 
tongue, and I believe there were three or four more men at 
the luncheon who would have been able to do likewise. The 
commander asked eagerly whether Captain Mahan were pres- 
ent. He had read his books, in translation of course, and ur- 
gently desired to meet him ; but unfortunately Captain Mahan 
was not able to go to New Orleans. 

The evening session of the first day is always devoted to 
the addresses of the two Presidents of the Associations. Mr. 
Seligman read a thoughtful address, and Mr. Haskins read the 
excellent paper of Mr. Lea. The reader of the proceedings of 
the New Orleans meeting will undoubtedly be impressed with 


the learning and intelligence of those two papers, but he will 
miss the pleasure that those present had in hearing the wel- 
coming address of President Alderman of Tulane University. 
A gentleman of fine presence, he spoke with the fervid 
eloquence of the Southerner, chastened by the academic 
manner ; and the feeling words that he uttered on the sub- 
ject of the negro, of which his mind and the minds of his 
fellow-citizens were full, made an impression not soon to be 

While most of the men and women who attended the meet- 
ing in New Orleans were in the South but a week, it is impos- 
sible to be there that brief time without pondering the negro 
question, which was so interestingly discussed in this Society 
last autumn. 

I remained in New Orleans three days, then spent four days 
in Thomasville, Georgia, and nineteen days in Florida. No- 
where in the Southern States can so little be learned of the 
South as in Florida. The average seeker of a good winter cli- 
mate travels from New York to St. Augustine in a Pullman 
car on a limited train, and thence proceeds to Palm Beach, where 
he finds a more genial and wholesome climate than Egypt, a 
place with surroundings more tropical and one in which clean- 
liness is supreme. His associates are men from the North ; 
the whole service of the hotel and the provision for amuse- 
ments are for Northern people. He learns nothing of the 
South so far as the people are concerned, except what he may 
get in two newspapers that he reads, " The Florida Times 
Union," published at Jacksonville, and the u Savannah News," 
which are excellent and clean newspapers in every respect. 
In thinking over my impressions, therefore, I find that they are 
mainly derived from the three days in New Orleans and four 
days in Thomasville. 

President Alderman said in the address to which I have 
referred : — 

"The tragic fundamental fact in Southern life is an economic fact — 
the presence here in large numbers of the African, is a great economic 
factor. There has not been a moment in sixty years, largely owing to 
his presence, that the South has not passionately subscribed to one or 
two or three great political dogmas or doctrines. . . . For sixty years 
the South stood ready to die and did die for the doctrine of State sover- 
eignty. To-day it would die with even more amazing oneness of mind 


for the doctrine of racial integrity or the separateness of the two races. 
This does not mean race hatred. . . . The best Southern people not 
only do not hate the negro, but come nearer to having affection for him 
than any other people on earth, and they hold this faith in a spirit of 
common-sense and justice and sympathy and helpfulness to the black 
race. They are too wise not to realize that posterity will judge them 
according to the wisdom they use in this great concern. They are too 
just not to know that' there is but one thing to do with a human being, 
and that thing is to give him a chance, and that it is a solemn duty of 
the white man to see that the negro gets his chance in everything save 
social equality and political control." 

At Thomasville, in a climate better than the Riviera, among 
beautiful pine groves and ornamental live oaks and magnolias, 
a number of my old friends of Cleveland have bought large 
tracts of land and remodelled the Southern houses or built new- 
ones, and are living there in somewhat the same luxurious 
style we are accustomed to associate with the Southern plant- 
ers of the time before the war, although the Northerners 
have brought comfort and method unknown in the days of 
slavery. Through them I came in contact with some South- 
ern people, among them one Southern gentleman who pro- 
duced an abiding impression. He had a Henry Clay face, in 
which refinement and nervous intelligence were in every feat- 
ure. He was a reader of books, and we discussed everything 
as freely as if we had been two Northern men. " What about 
these lynchings ? " I asked. " Were conviction at law more 
speedy and punishment swift, might they not be avoided ? " 
" No," he replied. " No Southern gentleman will ask a 
woman to go before a jury and relate the details of her 
outrage. All that we demand is for the woman to say, 
' That is the man.' Remove all the white people of Georgia 
and people the State with New Englanders: the same condi- 
tions would exist, the same punishment for rape would be 
inflicted. But this crime," he went on to say, " is con- 
fined to a low brutish class, — to the outcasts among the 
negroes. The negroes as a whole are a kind, amiable, faith- 
ful people. It is nonsense to talk of their deportation. We 
need them to raise' cotton and corn and for domestic servants. 
Your Ohio friends bring their white servants : they are bet- 
ter, of course, but we cannot afford them, and besides we 
must have help the year around. The negro in Georgia is 


getting on all right. He is gradually becoming the possessor 
of property, and he who acquires property is industrious. 
' Talk about the negro problem,' said to me a negro tailor who 
owns land and buildings in Thomasville and is an excellent 
workman. ' If the negroes would work all day and sleep all 
night, there would be no negro problem.'" 

With my old Cleveland friends I discussed the negro ques- 
tion. All of them were Republicans, and two of them had 
been Republicans of the stalwart sort with Abolition antece- 
dents. They talked of the negro exactly as did my Southern 
friend, although perhaps somewhat less sympathetically. I 
said to one of my hostesses whom years ago I remembered as 
an uncompromising critic of the South for her attitude towards 
the lower race, " Why, you always used to say colored people 
and now you speak of them as niggers." " Yes," she re- 
plied, " and I think of them just as the Southern people do." 

When one goes on his travels and meets people whose en- 
vironment is different from his own, it is always a useful in- 
quiry, With whom is he socially most in sympathy ? Most of 
us in Europe take first to the Englishman, next to the Ger- 
man, then to the Frenchman, — and such is my own experi- 
ence. Bearing this in mind, I have gone over my impressions 
since 1868, the date of my first visit to the South, — a visit 
which has been succeeded by a number of others. In matters 
of politics and present-day problems I feel in greater sympa- 
thy with the Southerner than I do with the Englishman. We 
have the common feeling toward Washington, toward the con- 
stitutional fathers, and toward the Constitution itself, and 
there are also growing up other bonds of sympathy. The 
Southerners are coming to love Lincoln and Grant, and to 
have an affectionate regard for McKinley. 

On the anniversary of Lee's birthday, a Confederate sol- 
diers' monument was dedicated at Gainesville, Florida, and 
these were the words of the orator of the day, presumably a 
Confederate colonel: "That typical American, Abraham Lin- 
coln, could do you justice ; the soldier and statesman, McKin- 
ley, was great enough to wear the Confederate badge as the 
guest of the Confederate soldier, and with the courage almost 
sublime, pay tribute to the living veteran and suggest plans 
for honoring those who were dead." Still later the orator re- 
ferred to " the brave and generous Grant." 


Mr. James F. Hunnewell exhibited a collection of fac- 
similes of engravings by Peter Pelham, and read the following 
memorandum : — 

Pelham Club Portraits, 

Near the middle of the seventeenth century engraving in 
mezzotint became known, and a century later was in England 
a favorite style shown by many superb works by great masters 
of the art. At the latter period Peter Pelham, an English 
engraver, came to Boston. Here he followed an example 
set by great engravers in London, the production of portraits 
of men of rank and eminence. He selected a class especially 
distinguished by position and learning, — the Boston ministers, 
who were not only the religious teachers of the community, 
but also the literary class. To these he added a few other 
subjects, eminent men, and engraved a series of portraits far 
surpassing any then known in British America and seldom 
since rivalled. Every one of his works has become rare and 
costly, some of them extremely so, and a collection of them 
is now almost beyond possibility. 

Fortunately there is now a process by which they can be 
reproduced in a way that makes a copy hardly distinguishable 
from an original, and also fortunately there is one of our fellow- 
citizens, a wise and assiduous collector, who has formed a 
series remarkable for extent and condition, and who, using 
this process, has made it possible for others to have and to 
hold many a portrait practically now unobtainable in the 
original. By his generosity, and in his name, I present to the 
Massachusetts Historical Society thirteen large reproductions. 

Rev. Dr. Cotton Mather, Old North Church, 1727 (perhaps the first 
mezzotint produced in America). 

Rev. Dr. Benjamin Colman, Brattle Street, 1735. 

Rev. Dr. Timothy Cutler, Christ Church, 1750. 

Rev. William Hooper, A.M., Trinity Church, 1750. 

Rev. Henry Caner, A.M., King's Chapel, 1750. 

Rev. Thomas Prince, A.M., Old South, 1750. 

Rev. Charles Brockwell, A.M., Royal Chaplain, 1750. 

Rev. Mather Byles, A.M., n. d. 

Rev. John Moorhead, Presbyterian, 1751. 

Governor William Shirley, 1747. 

Sir William Pepperrell, Bart., 1747. 

Thomas Hollis, merchant of London, 1751, 


These are from originals by Pelham ; to them is added 
John Adams, second President of the U. S. A., by E. Savage, 1800. 

All are marked "The Pelham Club — Boston 1901" — 
a club probably the most limited in Boston. It has per- 
petuated many of the almost vanished works of our early 
art, that are quite as important as some historical pamphlets, 
so called, and more interesting; works that show, as well as 
any could at the time, men who did much to shape thought 
and history in our Provincial period. 

All the credit for collecting and wonderfully reproducing, 
for good work in our art and history, and for this gift, is 
due to Frederick Lewis Gay, of Brookline. 

Mr. Samuel S. Shaw communicated an original letter of 
Henry Phillips written to his mother after the Woodbridge- 
Phillips duel, and said: — 

The duel in the summer of 1728 between Henry Phillips and 
Benjamin Woodbridge — an event, I believe, unprecedented 
in Boston — stirred the little town to its foundations. The 
letter which I present from the surviving combatant may 
throw some light on the affair. The story has been well told 
by Sargent (who had documents in his possession coming from a 
descendant of Peter Faneuil) in his " Dealings with the Dead." 
I am not aware that the name of the challenging party has 
been anywhere stated. According to this letter, it was 
Woodbridge. The letter also affords an explanation of the 
singular inhumanity of one Robert Handy, who arrived on 
the scene of the encounter just after it was over, and finding 
Woodbridge fainting and begging that a surgeon might be 
sent to him, turned his back and paid no attention to his 
request. Sargent attributes this conduct to a fear of being 
implicated in criminal proceedings. This may well have been 
the case if that " vile fellow " Handy, mentioned in the letter, 
is the Robert Handy who testified before the examining mag- 
istrate. He there represented himself as anxious to prevent 
a meeting and as having done what he could to dissuade the 
young men from fighting: the letter tells a wholly different 
story, and appeals to the evidence of Mr. Pelham the limner 
(without doubt the step-father of Copley), that Woodbridge 
told him that Handy had pressed him for three weeks or a 


month to challenge Phillips. The consciousness of having 
played this part may have made him doubly anxious to wash 
his hands of the affair, and fears for himself may have out- 
weighed all considerations for a dying man. 

I will briefly recall the main facts of the story to your 
memory. Henry Phillips was the son of the bookseller and 
publisher Samuel Phillips, whose name figures on so many 
of Cotton Mather's productions, and who was described by 
the eccentric Dun ton in his " Life and Errors" as "the most 
beautiful man in town." Young Phillips was twenty-four 
years of age and a Harvard graduate of 1724. He and his 
brother Gillam had recently become associated in the book- 
selling business as successors to their father. Benjamin 
Woodbridge, according to the epitaph on the conspicuous 
gravestone near the fence of the Granary Burying Ground, 
was the son of the Hon. Dudley Woodbridge and in the 
twentieth year of his age. He is said to have come from a 
distant abode and to have been taken into partnership by 
Jonathan Sewall. 

The parties met on the evening of July 3, on the Com- 
mon near the Powder House, and fought with small swords. 
Phillips ran Woodbridge through the body and was himself 
slightly wounded. Handy then appeared, and in spite of 
Phillips's earnest entreaties that he would go for a surgeon 
to attend to Woodbridge, did nothing, and through Phillips's 
own exertions a surgeon and a physician went in search of 
Woodbridge, but, curiously enough, were not able to find him. 
His dead body was discovered at three in the morning. In 
the mean time Phillips, by the efficient aid of his brother 
Gillam and of Gillam's brother-indaw Peter Faneuil and of 
John Winslow, captain of the pink Molly, was rowed to his 
Majesty's man-of-war Sheerness, then lying between the Castle 
and Spectacle Island. His hospitable reception is attributed 
by Sargent to the natural sympathy of naval officers for a 
spirited young fellow who has killed his man. The testimo- 
nials in his behalf, however, which lie refers to in his letter, 
signed by eight} T -three of the most eminent of his towns- 
men, show him to have been a peaceable and well-disposed 
young man for whom a general sympathy was felt, and a 
pardon hoped for on the ground that he was more sinned 
against than sinning. By morning the Sheerness had sailed, 


and Phillips was out of reach of Lieutenant-Governor Dummer's 
proclamation and the indictment for murder found by the 
grand jury. He made his way to Rochelle in France, and 
to the protection of Peter Faneuil's brother Jean. He died 
there on the 29th day of May, 1729, about two months after 
the date of this letter. A few days after his decease his 
mother started on a futile journey to visit him. This letter 
was found among the papers of his nephew, Samuel Phillips 

Rochelle, March 24 th , 1729. 
Honoured Madam, — I have the Satisfaction of your letters of 
the 28 th October, 25 th November & 4 th December, and hope God Al- 
mighty of his Infinite mercy will give me grace & Strength to follow 
the Advice you give me in them. According to your desire I am come 
into France, but find it as all other places extreamly chargeable, espe- 
cially to me who have so small a Stock. Whether I am like to get my 
Pardon, only God knows, so must desire something may be done for 
me, not to let me Spend the last farthing. I do assure you Madam, I 
have not had one moments pleasure since I left you, neither do I ex- 
pect any in this World, without I should be so happy to See my Dear 
Mother and my Native Country, which I prefer to any I have Seen. 
The living here is not very agreeable to me & dear, so must renew my 
former request. I should have wrote you before but was hindered by 
a violent fever w ch God Almighty has pleased to raise me from & to 
give tolerable Strength, which Sickness has been vastly expensive to 
me. Am prodigiously surpriz d who can have so much ill nature to Stop 
my letters, for am sure never failed of any opportunity when I could 
write. Would I be so ungratefull after I have offended so dear a 
Mother, not please in writing a few lines ; I hope I have now a Seuse 
of my Duty to so good a Parent, & bewail that ever I offended you, 
which intreat your forgiveness : — I am uncertain who I can employ 
for me in my Unhappy Affair ; if it should be desired of M r Yeomans 
fear lie would refuse it, having little acquaintance with the family, but 
will write M r Lechmore to try what he can do for me, or whether he 
should advise me to some other person ; Am at a terrible Loss to have 
no friend in England of Note to Sollicit for me, otherwise I hope I 
should obtain what I earnestly intreat for, from God & Man. I 
wrote you p r Roby from Holland to get the Affidavit of M r Pelham 
the Limner, who declared to Cap* Cornwall & Maj r Cosby, M r 
Woodbridge told him Handy prest him for three weeks or a month to 
challenge me, which he said he would never do, till at last to be Sure 
over persuaded by that Vile Fellow. I am extreamly obliged to those 
Gentlemen who are so good natured to Set their hands to a paper of 



my good Behaviour, & desire my thanks may be return'd them. Was 
in great Hope Gov r Burnet would have wrote in my favour which you 
nor my brother (tho' you gave me hopes of it) in a former letter, & 
hope if he has not, He will be so much my friend. Am very sorry my 
brother has arrested M r Smith, as he writes he has, M r Hooper having 
received fifteen pounds at three payments, as to my other bills don't 
know whether they will be paid or no, Maj r Cosby (Hooper writes 
me) gives fair words & keeps out of the way. I would beg the favour 
of my brother Gill to desire M r Bant or any of his friends that deal to 
Holland to employ M r Ward Stanton, who is an English Gentleman 
of fortune and one that bears the best of characters : if you can do him 
any Service at Boston or New York, shall be very glad for he was 
extreamly Civil. Must desire you to remitt me money, for if them 
Bills are not pay'd shan't have a farthing, & to be in a foreign place 
without it would be terrible. My desire is to write to all my Friends, 
but the Postage is so vastly chargeable (every letter going thro' Parris) 
that hope they will excuse. This may Serve to let them see my Cir- 
cumstances. O how I long to enjoy y c Company of my dear Friends, 
for am Sure have but few abroad, I alwayes keeping very close & 
making little Acquaintance. M r Faneuil received me with Courteous- 
ness, and promises to do all for me that lies in his power. Dear 
Madam Give my Service to my Aunt Paxton & all friends & Love to 
my Dear brothers & Sisters, and accept your Self the Duty of him 

who is, 

Madam, Your Dutifull Son till Death 

Henry Phillips. 

Mr. Shaw also communicated from the papers of his grand- 
father, Rev. Oakes Shaw, minister of the Church at West 
Barnstable, a letter from Governor Hutchinson to Rev. Gideon 
Hawley. Mr. Hawley graduated at Yale College in 1749, 
began his career as a missionary to the Indians in 1752 ; and 
in 1757 was appointed to the Indian Church at Mashpee, 
where he continued to labor for half a century. Mr. Shaw 
and Mr. Hawley were friends and neighbors, and both died in 
the same year. Hutchinson's reference to his letters which 
were sent to Boston by Dr. Franklin needs no explanation, 
beyond the identification of the "gentleman of your county" 
with Colonel James Otis, of Barnstable, then a member of the 

Boston, 23 Aug. 1773. 
Dear Sir, — I have received a set of Queries from the celebrated 
Doctor Robertson of Edinburgh relative to America of which he is about 
to publish the History. Those which respect the Indians I have copied 


& shall inclose to you and shall be glad of as full an answer to each as 
you are capable of giving and I will give you the credit of them when I 
send them to him. Pie has sent the same Queries to M r Smith of 
New York. Your acquaintance with the Iroquois tribes and also with 
the Indians of New Eugland will give you peculiar advantage. Some 
of the Queries can be answered only by thos^ writers who were conver- 
sant with the Indians before they had received Impressions from the 

I have seen some of your letters to the Lieut* Governor & am 
obliged to you for the marks of your friendship. 

The late malicious attempt to blast my reputation by obtaining 
private letters in an infamous way and putting a sense upon them 
which I never intended & the words without torturing will not bear, is 
so infamons that it must finally bring dishonour upon all concerned in 
it and upon a Gentleman of your County in particular who has been 
one of the most forward in promoting some of the Resolves which he 
must know to be false. 

When you see Mr. Williams pray mention me to him as having 
regard & esteem. I am, S r , 

Your most obed* Serv. 

Tho. Hutchinson. 

Mr. Charles C. Smith, in behalf of Rev. Dr. Edmund F. 
Slafter, who was unavoidably absent, communicated the 
following paper : — 

The Landing of the Hessians. 

The following letter will, for the most part, explain itself. 
It bears no date, but was issued probably in some part of 
July, 1776. The original, of which this is a copy, is in the 
possession of Miss Mary Long Gilman, of Exeter, New Hamp- 
shire. The letter is as follows : — 

By Several Authenticated Accounts lately Received, Twelve Thou- 
sand or upward of German Troops are on their passage from England 
said to be bound to Boston, but as the place they are bound to is 
not Certainly known it is of great Importance that each Colony be 
prepared to Oppose them. Therefore you are Required Immediately 
to give orders to all the Captains under your Command to Direct 
their Several Companies to hold themselves in Readiness to March 
on the Shortest Notice, and that they Equip themselves in the best 
manner they can, and you are to take the most unwearied pains to 
Examine into the State of the Soldiers & in particular see their lire 
Arms are kept in the utmost Readiness for Action, and in Case of 


an Alarm or Certain Notice of the Landing of Troops in the Massa- 
chusetts Bay or New Hampshire & Assistance is Required to give 
orders to your Several Companies to Muster & March as many men 
as can be possibly Raised out of them, properly Officered with Tried 
Officers, Captains & Subalterns according to the Number of Men, 
to the place where said Troops are Landed, to Assist in Repelling 
them, and you may assure all Such Officers & Soldiers that may 
March oh any Such Alarm that they shall be paid for the time they 
Continue in the Service the same Wages & Billeting as the other 
Troops Raised in this Colony for the publick Service, and that they 
shall not be detained any Longer than the Emergency of Such alarm 
may Require. 

By order of Hon— Committee of Safety for the Colony of New 

Nath?- Folsom — M G 

To Coll Thomas Stickney. 

A few notes in connection with this paper may be of some 
historical interest. 

It will be observed that the order contained in this letter 
was issued by the authority of the Committee of Safety. 
Immediately after British rule in the Colony of New Hamp- 
shire had been laid aside and abolished, it became necessary 
to establish a new government in place of the old. Conse- 
quently, as a temporary expedient, the whole civil power 
was invested in a convention consisting of delegates from 
all the towns in the colony. During the recess of this con- 
vention its authority, which was supreme and absolute, was 
delegated to a committee which was called the Committee of 
Safety. The foregoing letter of instruction by Major-General 
Folsom : was issued by the authority of this committee. 

1 Nathaniel Folsom, at this time Major-General of all the military forces 
of New Hampshire, rendered very important service during the whole period of 
the Revolutionary War. Even in the colonial period, in the expedition to Crown 
Point on the 8th of September, 1755, as captain of the New Hampshire contin- 
gent, he led an attack upon the retreating army of Baron Dieskau, causing 
great loss to the French, capturing numerous prisoners, with large spoils of 
stores and ammunition. 

He was sent by the first Provincial Congress of New Hampshire to the Conti- 
nental Congress in Philadelphia in the autumn of 1774. He was chosen Major- 
General of the forces of New Hampshire in the early part of the summer of 1775. 
He was a prominent member of the Committee of Safety, and likewise a member 
of the first Council of the State, which occupied the place of the Senate consti- 
tuted at a later date. He was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1726, and died 
there on the 26th of May, 1790. He was an ancestor of Miss Gilman to whom 
belongs the original manuscript letter presented in these pages. A very full and 


Four regiments were organized in New Hampshire to be 
trained and ready on any sudden emergency, and were officially 
named "minute men" because they were to be ready at a 
moment's warning. The foregoing letter was addressed to 
Colonel Thomas Stickney, and similar letters were doubtless 
addressed to the colonels of the three other regiments. We 
do not however know that they are still extant. This imvy be 
the only one that has survived the vicissitudes of the last 
hundred and twenty-five years. 

The announcement in this proclamation by the highest 
military authority in New Hampshire was of a startling 
character.. That twelve thousand or more German troops 
were already on their passage from England and were to land 
at some unknown point on the coast of Massachusetts Bay 
or of New Hampshire was well adapted to create a profound 
anxiety and alarm. Our people at that time were exceed- 
ingly sensitive to any impending danger, especially if it were 
involved in mystery. The effect of the witchcraft delusion 
with its horrible consequences had not died away. It had 
created a habit of sensitiveness which lasted more than a 
century and a half after the inhuman and satanic inventions 
for its cure had been laid aside. The stealthy approach of 
the wily savage in the darkness and in unexpected moments 
and places in the border towns, stretching through a period 
of nearly a hundred and fifty years, carrying instant death 
or brutal captivity to hundreds of brave men, gentle women, 
and innocent children, was still fresh in the minds of the 
whole population. The impression which the proclamation 
of the coming Germans made upon the minds of the people 
is not a matter of record, but it requires no exuberant imagina- 
tion to picture the anxiety and fear that prevailed in every 
village, hamlet, or remote settlement in New England. The 
unwelcome news spread with marvellous celerity in every 
direction. 1 

carefully prepared notice of General Folsom may be seen in the "Exeter News- 
Letter " for November 8, 1899, by Mr. Horace B. Cummings. 

1 There existed at that time in New Hampshire, and probably in all the other 
New England States, a practical method of expressage, which met all the de- 
mands and exigencies of the time. In each town there was a committee whose 
duty it was to communicate to the adjoining town the latest news relating to 
the movements of the English army, and they were to communicate it to the 
next, and so on, and in an incredibly short time every town in the State was in- 
formed, and consequently able to take such action as the circumstances required. 


In this excited state of the public mind the imagination 
pictured numberless evils, many of which were little more 
than hysterical fancies, the offspring nevertheless of well- 
grounded fear, — 

" Trifles, light as air, 
Are to the" fearful, "confirmations strong 
As proofs of holy writ." 

The causes of this foreboding fear may be briefly summed 
up in the following particulars : — 

First, in New England there was at that time little or no 
knowledge of the people in Germany. They were far away in 
a sense which to-day we cannot easily comprehend. Inter- 
course was rare, communication was slow and uncertain. 
The New Englander knew less of the character and temper of 
the German than we do to-day of the wild tribes in the heart 
of Africa. 

Second, the language of these foreign invaders was not 
understood by our people, and there could be no free inter- 
communication either by writing or word of mouth. Inter- 
course for the most part must be impossible and always 
hazardous. The danger incident to this want of intercom- 
munication had been brought home to them by bitter experi- 
ences with the savages from the first plantation of the colonies. 

Third, the expected German troops were known to be 
mercenaries, paid to fight in a cause of which they had no 
personal knowledge and in which they had no personal interest. 
In the estimation of the people of New England they differed 
little from the highwayman who invaded their homes to pilfer 
and destroy. Their character, so far as it could be learned, 
placed them beyond the pale of Christian intercourse and 

Fourth, it was even reported in some parts of the country 
that these hirelings, soon to reach our shores, were cannibals 
and had an appetite for small babies. 

Fifth, it was believed, on very good evidence, that in battle 
the Germans would give no quarter, or, in other words, that 
all prisoners of war taken by them would be immediately put 
to death. 

Such rumors as these, whether fanciful or well grounded, 
did not fail to produce a profound anxiety and fear. 


But this state of the public mind was destined to be of short 
duration. On the fifteenth day of August, 1776, the German 
troops, whose arrival had been looked for with so much inter- 
est and anxiety, reached Sandy Hook and landed on Staten 
Island. This first instalment numbered not less than eight 
thousand, including officers and men. But others followed 
soon after and from time to time, and the total number hired 
by England and landed on our shores during our Revolutionary 
War was twenty-nine thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven. 
They came from six petty German states, but in history are 
irrespectively denominated Hessians. Of this number twelve 
thousand five hundred and fifty-four never returned to their 
German homes. This included those who were killed in 
battle, those who died of disease, those who deserted, and 
finally those who were discharged at the end of the war but 
who preferred to remain and make their homes with the people 
against whom they had been cruelly forced to bear arms. It 
has been estimated that the deserters numbered not less than 
five thousand. 1 

The rank and file of the Hessians, although forced into the 
service against their wills, were undoubtedly good soldiers, 
who performed their duty with exemplary fidelity. The offi- 
cers probably came willingly, with the hope of rising in com- 
mand and bettering their fortunes. 

In the early stages of the war the Hessian officers, proud 
of their profession and accustomed to the superior equipment 
of a standing army, looked upon our plainly clad colonial 
officers with a supercilious contempt, and often applied to 
them opprobrious epithets. A mutual dislike was the natural 
and inevitable result. This, however, subsided in some degree 
as years went on. 

An incident illustrates the aversion or even hatred enter- 
tained in New England for these mercenary intruders. At the 
period of the Revolution and long afterward, the most im- 
portant cereal for the table of the rich and poor alike was the 
product of the New England soil. The wheat-fields of the West 
were distant, transportation was impracticable, and we were 
wholly dependent upon the home product. An enemy sud- 
denly appeared to arrest the production of this almost necessary 
article of food. An insect unknown before in this region, 

i Vide "The Hessians " by Edward J. Lowell, p. 300. 


coming apparently in vast numbers, deposited an ovum in the 
soft and succulent part of the plant, which soon developed into 
a voracious pest, and the whole wheat-crop was greatly dimin- 
ished and at last utterly destroyed. Looking about for a 
name that should be appropriate and significant, with a keen 
memory of the past and a touch of patriotic sentiment, they 
called the unwelcome visitor the Hessian fly. 

There is abundant reason for knowing that the Hessian 
officers held out the threat, whether in terrorem or otherwise, 
that no quarter would be given to prisoners of war. When 
the life of a prisoner was spared, they spoke of it as an act of 
generosity. In their letters and journals are recorded in- 
stances of prisoners falling upon their knees and begging 
piteously for their lives. 

A notable example of this "threat of no quarter" may be 
seen in the attack on the little fort at Red Bank, in New Jersey, 
on the Delaware River, a few miles below Philadelphia. 
Colonel von Donop, one of the most distinguished Hessian 
officers, with an ample force of mercenaries, was directed to 
capture this fort. On his arrival lie sent an aide de camp to 
demand its surrender. The demand was couched in the 
following extraordinary language: "The King of England 
commands his rebellious subjects to lay down their arms, and 
they are warned that if they wait until the battle, no quarter 
will be granted." Colonel Christopher Greene, in command of 
the garrison, replied that " he accepted the terms and that no 
quarter would be given on either side." The fort was a tem- 
porary structure, but had nevertheless some good qualities. It 
was equipped with three hundred men and fourteen cannon. 
The attack was made at " double quick " and with exultant 
fury, but it was disastrous. Donop was mortally wounded, 
and his army, possibly impelled by the fear of " no quarter," 
took to their heels. Donop was taken into the fort and 
tenderly cared for till he died three days later. Among his 
last words he said, " It is an early end of a fair career, but I 
die the victim of my ambition and of the avarice of my 

It is thus quite clear from the sequel of this conflict that 
the American commander did not intend to carry out the 
threat of "no quarter" forced upon him in a moment of ex- 
citement and clearly contrary to the rules of civilized warfare. 


We cannot indeed believe that the Hessian officer himself 
would have carried out his threat if the opportunity had been 
given him. There is no instance on record, so far as we know, 
in the War of the Revolution, in which this savage and bar- 
barous policy was publicly announced, much less carried into 
practice. If any officer of either army indulged in this kind of 
threatening proclamation, he doubtless regarded it as intended 
to produce a restraining fear, winch might save human life 
and avoid human suffering. 

The information contained in these notes has been obtained 
mostly from the work of Mr. Edward Jackson Lowell, a lately 
deceased member of this Society, called all too soon from his 
earthly labors. Gladly would the members of this Society 
and all others who appreciate good historical work have 
breathed the prayer of the old Latin poet, — 

" Serus in ccelum redeas, diuque 
Lsetus intersis populo." 

Iii closing these notes, I cannot refrain from adding a few 
words on Mr. Lowell's monograph entitled "The Hessians and 
the other German Auxiliaries of Great Britain in the Revolu- 
tionary War." 

It was not possible before the publication of this volume to 
obtain from our general histories a clear and definite idea of 
the part taken by the Hessians, or the value and importance 
of their service to the British arms. A need had existed from 
the beginning. Mr. Lowell supplies this need with great ful- 
ness, accuracy, and detail. The sources of information con- 
sulted by him were numerous, various, and of the highest 
credibility. The bargaining for the troops with the German 
princes is adequately, fully, and clearly set forth. By them 
the sacred precincts of the family were invaded, and thou- 
sands of young men were forced at the point of the bayonet, 
amid the tears of fathers and mothers, into a service which 
promised them nothing but hardship, suffering, and death. 
The infamy and disgrace of these bargainings in the sole in- 
terest of avarice and of unauthorized power will cling forever 
to the memory of these sordid princes, who in the moral es- 
timation of good men can be placed but little above the 
Roman Emperor who had the malicious hardihood to assassi- 
nate his mother. 



The English were particeps criminis in these unsavory trans- 
actions. The blood-stains on George III. and his ministers 
will not fade away while it is the office and duty of the histo- 
rian to search out and record the truth. Such brutal conduct 
at the present day would shock the moral sense of the civil- 
ized world. 

Mr. Lowell's style is characterized by simplicity, clearness, 
and vivacity. It is eminently suited to the subject of which 
he treats. The narrative moves on in a natural and unpre- 
tentious way, and from the beginning to the end is constantly 
gathering up new elements of interest and importance. The 
student, with even a moderate degree of historical instinct, 
may well be excused if, for the moment, he sometimes imag- 
ines that he is reading an entertaining and absorbing ro- 
mance. In all respects this volume is a needed and valuable 
contribution to the history of our War of Independence. 

A new volume of the Proceedings — Volume XVII. of the 
second series — was ready for delivery at this meeting. 

Since the foregoing record was put in type our associate 
Mr. Josiah Phillips Quincy has made a careful examination 
of the papers given by Miss M. P. Quincy, and has prepared 
the following list, which is here printed for convenience of 
reference : — • 

Contents of Chest presented by Miss Mary Perkins Quincy to the 
Massachusetts Historical Society. 

1. History of the Quincy family, by Professor Edward E. Salisbury. 
This gives both the male and female descendants of the family, and con- 
tains an exhaustive index. 

2. Pedigree charts, with coats-of-arms, made by Professor Salisbury. 

3. A little journey to Thorpe-Achurcb, by Mary Perkins Quincy, 
illustrated by photographs. Also notices of Lilford cum Wigsthorpe. 

4. A water-color painting of a castle owned and occupied by Lord 
Roger De Quincey, Earl of Ashby, in the year 1207. 

5. A paper read by Miss Mary Perkins Quincy before the Colonial 
Dames of America. Its subject was the two Dorothy Quincys. 

6. Memoranda respecting Saher de Quincy, the Magna Charta 
Baron ; also of Roger de Quincy, second Earl of Winchester, and of 
his daughters. 

1904.] GIFT OF MISS M. P. QUINCY. 251 

7. An article by Joseph Bain, F. S. A. Scot., with details of the 
Earls of Winchester. 

8. Correspondence of G. F. Tudor Sherwood, Esq., for Professor 
Salisbury and Miss Mary Perkins Quincy. This refers to researches 
in England connected with the Quincy family. 

9. Notes about the Quincy family, derived from the Roger de Quin- 
ceys of Chislehurst, England, 1897. 

10. Miscellaneous correspondence connected with researches in 

11. A paper by Miss Mary Perkins Quincy on the first Edmund 
Quincy in America, and of the Quincy name across the sea. 

12. The Quincys of to-day who bear the surname in New England. 

13. The Quincy name found in antiquarian annals and genealogies. 

14. Researches among data and memoranda of the Quincy name at 
the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. 

15. Ordnance Maps of Northamptonshire, Rutland, and Hunting- 

16. The Quincy coat-of-arms. 

17. Early Quincy researches at the Heralds' Office in London, by 
" Portcullis." 

18. Early Quincy data and memoranda from the Bodleian Library, 
Oxford, and the British Museum, London. 



The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 10th instant, 
at three o'clock, P. m. ; the President in the chair. 

The record of the February meeting was read and approved ; 
and formal reports were received from the Librarian and the 
Corresponding Secretary. 

Preparatory to the Annual Meeting Messrs. Andrew McF. 
Davis, Albert B. Hart, and Samuel S. Shaw were appointed a 
committee to nominate officers for the ensuing year; Messrs. 
Charles K. Bolton, Edward Stanwood, and Melville M. Bigelow 
a committee to examine the library and cabinet; and Messrs. 
Winslow Warren and Thomas Minns a committee to examine 
the Treasurer's accounts. 

The President, in behalf of the Council, to whom the mat- 
ter was referred at the last meeting of the Society, reported 
the following addition to the By-Laws, Chapter I. Article 4, 
which was adopted by a unanimous vote : — 

No election to membership shall be valid, unless, on due noti- 
fication, the person elected shall within six months signify in 
writing his acceptance. 

On motion of the Treasurer it was — 

Voted, That the income of the Massachusetts Historical Trust 
Fund for the financial year ending March 31, 1904, be appro- 
priated to such purposes as the Council may from time to time 

The President announced the death of Sir Leslie Stephen, 
K. C. B., a Corresponding Member, and expressed a hope that 
Mr. Norton, though called on without previous notice, might 
be willing to say a few words with reference to his personal 

Mr. Norton, being thus called upon, spoke of his long friend- 
ship with Sir Leslie Stephen, beginning at the time of Sir 


Leslie's (then Mr. Stephen) first visit to America, in 1863. 
He had been head of one of the minor houses at the Univer- 
sity of Cambridge, but he had already resigned this position 
consequent on his resigning the Holy Orders into which he 
had entered after leaving college, and had already begun to 
devote himself to a life of letters. He was shy and reserved 
in manner, but readily responsive to a friendly welcome. He 
had abundant natural and acquired intellectual resources 
which made him an interesting companion, while his essen- 
tially sweet and simple nature made him as attractive as he 
was interesting. 

He has himself, in his recent charming autobiographical 
sketches, told of the motive of his change in the direction of 
his life. From the time the change was made, he remained 
till the end of life steadily faithful to the profession of letters. 
The bent of his genius was not toward creative authorship but 
toward criticism in its modern sense, — that is, toward the 
inductive and historical method in criticism. He had a lively 
sense of the variety of human nature and the wide range of 
human interests. His judgments were not based on a system 
of dogmatic rules or principles, but with catholic sympathies 
he endeavored to ascertain the true relations of the subjects of 
his study to their times, and to exhibit the specific influences 
which had made them what they were and which had deter- 
mined their position in the field of affairs or of literature. In 
this he was a disciple of the great modern master Sainte-Beuve, 
and in this he took advantage of the doctrine of evolution as 
applied to social and intellectual conditions. His work was 
distinguished by its good sense, its liberality and vigor of 
thought, while his clear style was enlivened by a pleasant 
humor, often combined with a shrewd wit and expressed 
with a light cynicism which might cover but could not con- 
ceal the essential geniality of his nature. 

His mind, of admirable quality by nature, had been excel- 
lently trained. It had a philosophic and sceptical cast, which 
was often displayed in the exposing of a metaphysical sophis- 
try or the dissection of a fallacious argument. 

He was familiar with the course of English thought during 
the past three centuries, but his special interest lay, perhaps, 
in the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth ; 
and his works on " English Thought in the Eighteenth Cen- 


tury " and on " The English Utilitarians " are permanent con- 
tributions to the understanding of the period to which they 
relate, while they exhibit in a remarkable degree the power of 
their author in the discussion and elucidation of difficult prob- 
lems and in the detection of elusive fallacies. The value and 
importance of the main work of his middle life, his masterly 
editing of the " Dictionary of National Biography," are recog- 
nized by all students of English history or literature. 

He was an independent in all matters of thought. From an 
early period in his career he adopted the principles of agnos- 
ticism, of which he became perhaps the ablest exponent. 
According to those principles he shaped his life, finding them 
sufficient for its needs and more satisfactory than any other 
creed, alike in their freedom and in their limitations. 

During his later years he was shut off from general social 
intercourse by almost complete deafness, but the sweetness of 
his nature was never more exhibited than in his latest writing, 
— the autobiographical sketches already referred to, — nor were 
the fine qualities of his intellect ever more evident than in the 
lectures on the Literature and Society of the Eighteenth Cen- 
tury, just now published, which lie was to have delivered at 
Oxford, but the public reading of which he was compelled by 
illness to entrust to a nephew. The lectures and the sketches 
were written after he knew that his illness was mortal, but no 
one in reading them would fancy that their author was under 
sentence of death, and a death likely to be preceded by great 
suffering. He bore his long illness with unbroken patience, 
and he faced death with perfect serenity. His latest letters 
were wholly simple and manly, and while they were touchingly 
unreserved in the expression of natural sentiment they were 
absolutely free from the too familiar attributes of deathbed 
compositions. The principles which had supported him in sor- 
row and in suffering, and which had served him for the guid- 
ance of a useful and delightful life, supported and served him 
to its end. 

The President added : — 

Though in no way prepared, I am unwilling that the occa- 
sion should pass without something on my part recorded con- 
cerning Sir Leslie Stephen, and the esteem in which I held 


him.. The extremely happy, even if unpremeditated, remarks 
of Professor Norton were spoken from a full mind. His ac- 
quaintance with Sir Leslie Stephen reached back over more 
than forty years ; mine, I am sorry to say, was of recent date. 
Indeed, I must confess that a little more than only ten years 
since I was not aware that any such person existed. In 1892, 
I think it was, a volume of his miscellanies was published, 
taking its title of " An Agnostic's Apology " from the first 
paper in it. That title attracting me, I purchased the book. 
Then it was that Leslie Stephen's personality dawned upon 
me. Accidentally I had made that delightful discovery for 
a man advancing in years, — a new, sympathetic and sug- 
gestive author. So much satisfaction did I derive from the 
volume I have referred to that I felt moved to write to Mr. 
Stephen. My letter elicited a reply which showed that what 
I had said gave him a gratification he did not care to conceal. 
I have read everything he has written since, as also his larger 
previous works, and always with pleasure and an increased 
sense of benefit. A learned man, he had a distinctly philo- 
sophical and observant cast of mind ; and, moreover, there 
was in what he wrote a delicate humor. I remember, in my 
first letter to him, I referred to this trait as " Montaigneish " ; 
and my so doing it was which had evidently most gratified 
him. But combined therewith there were a subtlety and purity 
of thought, — an ethical elevation, — to my mind more dis- 
tinctly developed in his writings than in those of any other 
English writer of the time. Because of this, they appealed 
to me. 

Professor Norton has alluded to the course of events which 
led Mr. Stephen to abandon his chosen profession of the Church, 
to leave Oxford, and to devote himself to literature. During 
our Civil War, then a young man, he was from instinct, as 
well as from conviction, an ardent friend of the North. One 
of his earliest publications, though not included in any of his 
subsequent collected writings, was a sharp arraignment of the 
"London Times" for its bitter and vindictive utterances, and 
the course pursued by it during the period of our troubles. 
On this head he framed an indictment of many pages, con- 
fronting " The Thunderer" with its compromising record. This 
publication is long since so wholly forgotten that few know 
that Leslie Stephen was ever responsible for it. I doubt if 


there are more than half a dozen copies of it in the United 
States. Only by chance did I come across it while looking over 
pamphlets relating to our Civil War, of which my father made 
a large collection during his residence in London. The title- 
page attributed it simply to u L. S. " ; but under those initials 
was written, in the handwriting of my brother, " Leslie 
Stephen." I afterwards wrote to Mr. Stephen concerning it, 
for it had proved of much service to me in the course of 
certain investigations, and asked him why he had never 
mentioned it to me, and why it did not bear his full name. 
He replied that he had never mentioned it as it did not seem 
to him worth while; in fact, he had himself almost forgotten 
he ever wrote it. As respects the failure to bear his name on 
the title-page, he said that, at the time of publication, he was 
a young man striving to make his living by his pen, and that 
his friends strongly urged him not to incur the enmity of so 
powerful an organ. His name, therefore, had never been 
publicly connected with it. None the less, to one, like our 
associate Mr. Rhodes, for instance, engaged in any work upon 
the events of the Civil War, it is a valuable and labor-saving 
compendium. The utterances of the " London Times" had 
then, as we all know, more influence, and were more keenly felt, 
than utterances in Parliament or even in State papers. They 
cut like a knife ; and the knife was envenomed. I am, there- 
fore, glad to avail myself of this opportunity to get into our 
Index a reference to a rare Civil War pamphlet, a copy of which 
can probably be found in our collection of pamphlets, and cer- 
tainly in that of the Athenaeum. 1 It may there catch the 
eye of future investigators, who otherwise will not know of its 
existence. Should it do so, it may save them hours of weary 

Finally, in my judgment the peer of Sir Leslie Stephen, 
in his peculiar field, does not now live. For happiness of ex- 
pression, combined with a sustained purity of subtle thought, 
he was to me, when I discovered him, a revelation, and, 
for more than ten years, a philosopher and guide. During 
that time, I am glad to say, it has been my privilege to carry 
on with him a correspondence, even if somewhat intermittent 
and languid. His last letter now lies on my table. The obli- 
gation 1 feel under to him I would fain now express. 

1 The " Times " on the American War : A Historical Study by L. S. 


1904.] REMARKS BY MR. C. E. NORTON. 257 

Mr. C. E. Norton communicated an unpublished letter from 
Rev. Samuel Locke, afterward President of Harvard College, 
written a few months after his settlement at Sherborn, and said : 

President Holyoke died the first of June, 1769. The 
Corporation found it difficult to select his successor, but 
finally elected the Rev. Samuel Locke, pastor in Sherborn, 
who was inaugurated on the 21st of March, 1770. He 
was President for three years and eight months, resigning his 
office on the first of December, 1773. " At this time," s.iys 
President Quincy, "it is difficult to ascertain the inducements 
to this appointment." President Quincy closes his account 
with the following words : " History has preserved concern- 
ing his life and character little that is worthy of reminiscence, 
and tradition less. His official relations are marked on the 
records of the seminary by no act indicating his influence or 
special agency, and for his resignation, which was sudden 
and voluntary, they assign no motive, and express no regret." l 
This letter may in part account for the silence of the records. 

To M r Edward Wigglesworth, Merch't. In Boston. 

Sherburn, 11 Feb., 1760. 
Dear Kindsman, — I congratulate you upon y e pleasing prospect 
you have before you, and entirely agree with you in y e reasonable ex- 
pectation you entertain of advancing your felicity by y e close social 
connection you are forming. It seems to be ordained by Providence in 
y e oeconomy and constitution of all created, animate nature we are ac- 
quainted with that each individual of y e several species should be drawn 
by some secret attraction to those of its own kind ; and indeed it appears 
to be a necessary precaution for y e preservation of order amidst y e im- 
mense variety of creatures that people y e world and for y e regular con- 
servation and increase of y e several classes into which they are divided. 
But man has a nature peculiarly adapted for society and friendly inter- 
course and is directly urged to it by y e great difficulties, if not utter 
impossibility, of subsisting alone independent of and inconnected with 
others of y e same nature with himself, — his wider capacities demand 
more gratifications, and he feels in himself innumerable wants which a 
life of sollitude cannot supply, and many powers to which it cannot give 
employment. Hereupon he is naturally led by some affections amost 
peculiar to our kind to select some from among y e many individuals of a 
human nature for peculiar intimacy and tenderness in order to improve 

1 History of Harvard University, vol. ii. p. 160. 


the condition of his existence and refine y e common principles of benevo- 
lence into a peculiar affection for some individuals. 

And I apprehend in particular with regard to y e nuptial tie (y e closest 
of any) we are not only directed to it by y e constitution of our nature 
and y e many miseries which a forlorn individual must necessarily suffer 
while he stands alone without any prop to support him, but also by y e 
continued course of Providence in preserving in all ages such an appar- 
ent equality between y e sexes. This, I think is an additional call to 
every one to be up and doing. You will therefore, S r , I trust, find a 
complyance with your duty in y 8 respect a solid foundation of y e most 
substantial happiness which this world affords, — and that it will be a 
happy medium of improvement in sosial [sic] virtue, and of increasing 
to you that felicity which I cannot describe but heartily wish to be y e 
portion of every human creature in a way consistent with y e wise 
designs of y e great Father and governor of y e universe. But I am in 
haste. I would just enform you that Cap* Perry is ready to waite on 
you when you are at leisure. I should be glad that it might be this 
week, if you can spare the time. 

I am, S r , your most obedient humble ser*. 

Sam ll Locke. 

It may be added that Mr. Locke was married to the daughter 
of Rev. Samuel Porter, his predecessor at Sherborn, January 21, 
1760, and that his correspondent, a grandson of Rev. Michael 
Wigglesworth, author of " The Day of Doom," was not mar- 
ried to his first wife until 1766. 

Mr. Norton made some humorous remarks on the change in 
custom as regards the use of two or more Christian names, and 
on the ills resulting from it, — the needless burden to the 
memory, the waste of time in looking up a name of which one 
may be uncertain, the enormous national waste of time and 
money involved in the daily writing and printing of millions 
of useless middle names, and other minor evils. He urged the 
need of reform in the matter, alike from the point of good 
sense and that of good taste, and presented the following re- 
sults of a recent examination of the Quinquennial Catalogue 
of Harvard University : — 

In the first seventy-five classes graduated at Harvard Col- 
lege from 1642 to 1717 inclusive, but a single graduate had a 
middle name. This was Ammi Ruhamah Corlet of the class 
of 1670, and his double name is to be accounted for by the 
fact that the names Ammi and Ruhamah occur but once in 

1904.] REMARKS BY MR. C. E. NORTON. 259 

the Bible, and in this sing] 3 instance in close relation to each 
other. 1 

The second graduate with a middle name was Brocklebank 
Samuel Coffin of the class of 1718, the third was in 1725, the 
fourth in 1739, the fifth in 1741; that is, out of 1,421 gradu- 
ates in a hundred years there were but five with middle 

In the next thirty-one years, to 1772 inclusive, when the old 
order of arrangement of names according to social standing 
came to an end, out of 1,017 graduates thirty-eight had middle 
names, not 4 per cent. 

Thus, in the first one hundred and thirty-one years of the 
existence of the College, of 2,438 graduates only forty-three, or 
about If per cent, bore more than one given name. 

After 1772 the increase is rapid and steady. From 1773 to 
1780 there were nineteen graduates with middle names, about 
6 per cent ; from 1781 to 1790 the percentage rose to about 
10. From 1791 to 1800 the percentage was 16 + ; 1801-1810, 
30; 1811-1820, 46; 1821-1830, 58; 1831-1840, 67; 1841^ 
1850, 73 ; 1851-1860, 78 ; 1861-1870, 84. 

Taking separate classes after 1870, the percentage of the 
class of 1880 was 80 ; of 1890, 85 ; of 1899, 89 ; and of the 
classes now in College the percentage is 85. 

Mr. Norton also presented the original draught of a com- 
munication to the "Albany Centinel" in 1800, during the 
heated and protracted struggle which resulted in the election 
of Mr. Jefferson as President of the United States, together 
with the original certified copies of the documents from Rhode 
Island, referred to in the communication. The chief interest 
in these papers lies in the evidence which they afford of the 
practice as late as 1764 of the cropping of the ears and 
the branding of a criminal found guilty of forgery. 2 

i "Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi ; and to your sisters, Ruhamah." — 
Hosea ii. 1, 

2 By an act of the General Assembly of Rhode Island passed at the October 
session in 1776, it was "enacted, that if any person or persons within this state, 
shall counterfeit the bills or notes of either of the Continental loan offices, within 
the United States of America, or utter or pass the same, knowing them to be 
such, and be thereof duly convicted, shall suffer the pains of death." — Rhode 
Island Col. Records, vol. viii. p. 19. 


For the Albany Centinel. 

When the Electors to Choose a President and Vice-President were 
lately to be appointed, M- Bloom, of the Senate, shewed me a list of 
Persons whom he, and the party he is connected with, intended to ap- 
point ; and on my Perceiving the name of Robert Ellis on it, I informed 
M- Bloom that he had been Convicted in Rhode Island of passing 
Counterfeit Money, and that I was once Possessed of the Record — 
Ellis was notwithstanding appointed. A few days after I learned that 
he had been sent for by the Party to Albany, and that he Denied the 
matter, — In Consequence of which I have Procured the following 
papers from Rhode Island, and now publish them. The Papers them- 
selves are left with the Printer, for the inspection of whoever may 
think proper 

Moses Vail. 

Troy, December 9, 1800. 

At the Superior Court of Judicature, Court of Assize and 
General Goal Delivery, begun and held at Providence, in 
and for the County cf Providence, In the English Colony 
of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New 
England, in America, on the Third Monday of March, 
Anno Dom. 1764, and in the fourth Year of his Majestyes 
Reign, George the Third by the Grace of GOD of Great 
Britain France and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith &c. 

Robert Bevelun, of Providence, in the County of Providence, Taylor, 
an Infant under the age of Twenty one Years, was Indicted by the 
Grand Jury : For that he the said Robert Bevelun, at said Providence, 
on the thirteenth Day of February, in the fourth year of his Majestyes 
Reign, Anno Dom. 1764 with force and arms did for the sake of Lucre 
and unjust gain alter a certain Bill emitted by an act of the General 
Assembly of the Colony of Rhode Island A. D. 1760, of an unknown 
value, and make the same in imitation of the True Ten Shillings Bill 
emitted by said act, and did on the said Thirteenth Day of February, 
A. D. 1764, with force and arms utter and pass said Bill so altered to 
Job Armstrong, of Glocester, in said County, Yeoman, for a True Ten 
shilling Bill, knowing the same at said time to be a false Bill ; which 
aforesaid act of him the said Robert Bevelun, against his Majestyes 
peace his Crown and Dignity; whereupon the said Robert Bevelun 
being arraigned, pleaded Guilty. 

Wherefore it is the Sentence and Judgment of this Court that You 
the said Robert Bevelun, upon the sixth Day of July Next, Between 
the hours of Eight A. M. and four P. M. do Stand in the Pillory for 
the space of half an hour, and have both Your Ears Cropt, and be 

1904.] REMARKS BY MR. C. E. NORTON. 261 

branded with a hot Iron on each Cheek with the Letter R. that you be 
imprisoned for the space of one hundred Days after the Rising of this 
Court, that you pay Double Damages to all persons Defrauded and 
cheated by you by such false Bill or Bills as aforesaid ; That you pay 
all cost of prosecution and Conviction, and that you forfeit all your 
Estate both Real and Personal ; and in case you have not sufficient 
Estate to pay and satisfy as aforesaid, That you be set to work by the 
Sheriff of this County for a Term not Exceeding one Year ; and That 
you remain in the Custody of the Sheriff until! this sentence be 

The Examination of Robert Beaverly who is suspected of altering the 
Lawful Money Bills of this Colony, taken this fourteenth Day of Febru- 
ary, 1764 Before us 

Samuel Chace,) T .. - n 

y Justices of Peace 
James Angell, ) 

On his Examination, saith, that the Bill he passed to m r Armstrong he 
altered himself, and that he likewise altered that he past to Jabez 
Pearce, and put one to mr Allen that I altered — and that no person is 
Conserned with me or knows anything thereof but myself 

Robert Bevelun. 

Upon a second Examination of Robert Beverly at the Goal in Provi- 
dence Tuesday afternoon Feb y 14 th , 1764, 

Present Nicholas Tilltnghast, magistrate 
and Sam l Chace, Just Peace. 

The said Robert Beverly came before us and says he passed Five more 
altered Bills one to Joseph Field, one to Jabez Pearce, and one to the 
widow Brown, and one to Zepheniah Randall, and one to m r Manchester, 
and that all this was done by orders from his Master, Robert Leonard, 
who he says altered them together with him, and sent him out to pass 
them — he further says that he passed nine such altered Bills, seven of 
them being of the Denomination of Ten shillings altered from one 
shilling Bills and nine penny Bills, and Two of them were of the De- 
nomination of Five shillings, altered from one shilling Bills, Five of 
which Bills my Master Robert Leonard was privy to the altering of 
and ordered me to put them off to any persons that would take them. 

Robert Bevelun. 
Providence, ss. 

I certify that the above contains a true copy of the record of the 
Superior Court of Judicature, &c. holden at Providence in & for 


the County — aforesaid, wherein the said Robert was convicted, & of the 
examination of the said Robert taken previously thereto. 

P. Allen, Clh 

Extract from the Providence Gazette, printed in Providence, 
Anno Domini, 1764. 

" Providence, March 31 Bt 1764." 
" Whereas Robert Bevelin, a Prisoner in his Majesty's Goal in Provi- 
dence, under the sentence of Imprisonment, and of being Cropt and 
branded, hath by the Assistance of some evil minded Persons procured 
means to break Goal on the Night of the 30th of March Instant — Said 
Bevelin is a Youngster of about Eighteen years of age, of a slim make, 
has a light Complexion wears his own hair, and has served part of an 
Apprenticeship to the Taylor's Business. He had on when he escaped 
a Light Coloured straight bodied Coat, black Cloth Breeches and 
Waistcoat — Whoever apprehends said Felon and conveys him to any 
of his Majesty's Goals in this Colony or elsewhere, so that he may be 
brought to Justice, shall have TEN DOLLARS Reward and all reason- 
able Charges paid by me. 

Allen Brown, Sheriff— " 

The above contains a True Copy from the File of the Public Prints, 
Published in the Town of Providence and then Colony of Rhode 
Island, in the Year 1764. 

Witness, Theodore A. Foster. 
Providence, Nov r 26 th , 1800 Ja? U. Arnold, Just. Peace. 

-p, ) State of Rhode Island 

Providence, ss. > _ _, 

j and Providence Plantations 

I, William Rhodes, of Providence, in the County of Providence and 
State of Rhode Island, &c. Merchant, of lawful age, & engaged accord- 
ing to Law, testify and say, that I was personally acquainted with 
Robert Bevelun formerly of Providence who was said to be convicted 
of counterfeiting the Paper Currency (emitted by the General Assembly 
A. D. 1760) in the year 1764, and I am knowing to the said Robert 
Bevelun's using the name of Robert Ellis, as well as Bevelun, and that 
the same Robert Bevelun who was convicted in the March Term of the 
Superior Court of this then Colony as aforesaid, was known and often 
called by the name of Robert Ellis, — & that the said Robert Bevelun, 
alias Robert Ellis, who is said to have broke Goal in this Town while 
under sentence, and made his escape. I have often heard since that 
the said Robert Bevelun, lived in the State of New York, and was 
known by the name of Robert Ellis — further this deponent saith not. 

W^ Rhodes. 


-d ) State of Rhode Island 

Providence ss. y _ _, 

) & Providence Plantations 

Personally appeared the aforesaid William Rhodes, and made oath to 
the Truth of the foregoing Deposition 

-^/^/^^v^/^^-x^^^^^^-n^^.^^- Before me James U. Arnold, 
Justice of the Peace, this twenty sixth day of November, Anno Domini 

J a? U. Arnold Just. Peace 

During the meeting there was much informal conversation 
in which the President and Messrs. Franklin B. Sanborn, 
Barrett Wendell, Edmund F. Slafter, Morton Dexter, 
Charles K. Bolton, Archibald C. Coolidge, Henry W. 
Haynes, and Charles C. Smith took part. 

A new serial of the Proceedings, containing the record 
of the December and January meetings, was on the table for 



The Annual Meeting was held on Thursday, the 14th 
instant, at three o'clock, P. M., the President in the chair. 

The record of the March meeting was read and approved. 
The Librarian read the list of donors to the Library since the 
last meeting. Among the gifts were a copy of the beautiful 
fac-simile reprint of Morton's " New England's Memorial," 
edited for the Club of Odd Volumes by Mr. Arthur Lord, 
given by Mr. Lord, and a copy of "The Burning Bush not 
Consumed ; or the Fourth Part of the Parliamentarie Chron- 
icle, London, 1646," given by the family of the late Professor 
John Farrar, of Cambridge. 

Mr. Frederick J. Turner, Professor of History in the Uni- 
versity of Wisconsin, was elected a Corresponding Member. 

Mr. John T. Morse, Jr., was appointed to write a memoir of 
the late Henry Lee for the Proceedings ; Mr. J. P. Quincy a 
memoir of Edmund Quincy; and Mr. Moorfield Storey a 
memoir of Charles Sumner. 

The President announced a gift of one hundred dollars to 
the General Fund of the Society from Hon. Horace Davis, of 
San Francisco, California, a Corresponding Member. 

The President announced the death of Rev. Dr. Egbert C. 
Smyth, a Resident Member, as follows : — 

At the last meeting of the Society the roll of its Resident 
Membership was, for the "first time in many years, filled. We 
numbered one hundred living Resident Members. 

A vacancy, however, was created on Tuesday last, through 
the death of Rev. Egbert Coffin Smyth at Andover. As the 
funeral of Dr. Smyth will not take p]ace until to-morrow, I do 
not propose to call for a characterization of him here. I shall 
ask our associate Rev. Alexander McKenzie to come to the 
next meeting of the Society prepared in this respect. In the 
mean time, in accordance with our practice, it devolves on me 
merely to mention any immediate personal connection which Dr. 


Smyth may have borne to the Society. He was elected at the 
December meeting of 1882, during the presidency of Mr. 
Winthrop. It was the largely attended meeting of the Society 
which greeted Mr. Winthrop on his return from his last visit 
to Europe. Dr. Smyth, though a constant attendant at our 
meetings, never closely identified himself with our Society ; 
that is, he never served on more than one committee, never at 
all upon the Council, nor did he contribute largely to our Pro- 
ceedings. Nevertheless, at the January meeting of 1886, he 
was appointed on a special committee to report what action 
the Society should take upon the Sibley bequest. Again, at 
the March meeting of 1891, he contributed some remarks when 
presenting to the Society a number of original papers relating 
to the construction and first occupancy of Fort Dummer, and 
to a conference with the Scatacook Indians held there. He 
further, at the March meeting of 1899, communicated a letter 
from Timothy Dwight to his son. Finally, at the March meet- 
ing of three years ago, he favored our Proceedings with some 
remarks on Jonathan Edwards. This was his last contribution. 
At the time of his death the name of Dr. Smyth stood twenty- 
eighth upon our roll. He had been a member of the Society 
four months over twenty-one years. 

Mr. Samuel S. Shaw communicated the memoir of the Hon. 
Henry S. Nourse which he had been appointed to write. 

Mr. Andrew McF. Davis, Senior Member at Large of the 
Council, presented their report. 

Report of the Council. 

From year to year it has been the pleasant duty of the 
Council to congratulate the. Society upon the satisfactory con- 
dition of our finances. Our income is adequate for a reason- 
able activity in the way of publication ; we have the means to 
secure for our library such additions as are of impending 
necessity, and our investments are reported to be in good 
condition. Under these circumstances, and mindful of the dep- 
redations to which business, religious, and eleemosynary cor- 
porations seem subject of late, we may rejoice that it is our 
privilege to repeat the phrases upon this topic already well 
worn by use in so many annual reports, thankful that their 
very monotony is a source of pleasure. 



The regular meetings of the Society have during the current 
year been held in this building at their appointed times, and 
all of them have been well attended. Papers were read at 
each meeting, some of which provoked discussion, interesting 
to those who were present, but in a great measure lost to our 
records. Granting that the Annual Meeting, 1903, belongs in 
the year which we are at present considering, we may begin 
our review of these meetings by stating that there were two 
papers read at that meeting : " The Members of the Pilgrim 
Company in Leyden," by Morton Dexter, and " The Merchants' 
Notes of 1733 " by Andrew McFarland Davis, — the former a 
painstaking and laborious research in a recondite field, and 
the latter a collation of items from contemporaneous news- 
papers bearing upon the financial experiment defined in its 
title. The May meeting was made interesting by a discussion 
concerning the battle of Marathon, introduced by the Presi- 
dent, through suggestions which occurred to him on the 
occasion of a recent visit to Greece, and participated in by 
Prof. William W. Goodwin, whom the President called upon 
as an acknowledged authority on such subjects. At the same 
meeting Professor Goodwin submitted some reflections on the 
arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth and the difficulties of 
reconciling contemporaneous accounts with the topographic 
conditions demanded by their surroundings. Dr. Edward 
Channing added an account of his personal experiences while 
engaged in a similar study. 

The June meeting was devoted to a discussion of the battle 
of Salamis, which was participated in by the President and 
Prof. William W. Goodwin. At the October meeting the 
President read a paper on "an alleged interview between 
Queen Victoria and Hon. C. F. Adams," in which it was 
demonstrated that an account by Hon. Abram S. Hewitt, 
purporting to be from memory, of a conversation with Hon. 
C. F. Adams in which the interview with Queen Victoria was 
described, was mainly " but the hallucination of an old man." 
The reading of this paper was followed by extended extempore 
remarks by Prof. Albert Bushnell Hart, on the present condi- 
tion of the Southern States. Professor Hart's address induced 
a protracted discussion. At the November meeting Mr. James 
Schouler read a paper on " The Massachusetts Convention of 
1853," and Mr. Josiah P. Quincy read one on " The Louisiana 



Purchase ; and the Appeal to Posterity." " The Prospectus of 
Blackwell's Bank, 1687," a document rescued from the Win- 
throp Papers, was submitted by Andrew McFarland Davis at 
the December meeting. James F. Hunnewell at the same meet- 
ing described his visit in Southern Devonshire to Ci Another 
Bunker Hill," and Charles Heniy Hart, a Corresponding Mem- 
ber, submitted a paper on " Paul Revere's Portrait of Washing- 
ton." At the January meeting the President presented an 
extended appreciation of the services to this country of Queen 
Victoria during our Civil War. Mr. Franklin B. Sanborn 
read, at the February meeting, a paper on " Samuel Langdon, 
S.T.D., Scholar, Patriot, and President of Harvard University," 
which was followed by some " Remarks on the joint meetings 
of the American Historical Association and American Economic 
Association in New Orleans, December, 1903," by James Ford 
Rhodes, and later by a paper on the " Woodbridge-Phillips 
Duel," by Samuel S. Shaw, and one on " The Landing of the 
Hessians" by Edmund F. Slafter. At the March meeting Prof. 
Charles Eliot Norton read a letter from Rev. Samuel Locke, 
afterward President of Harvard College, and later read a 
paper showing statistically the growth of the use of a middle 
name by students at Harvard. 

The following important letters and documents were com- 
municated: At the May meeting, Letters- of Richard Price, 
1767-1790, by Charles Eliot Norton ; at the June meeting, 
Letters of Benjamin Vaughan, 1782-1783, by Charles Card 
Smith ; at the October meeting, The Federal Constitution in 
Virginia, 1787-1788, by W T orthington C. Ford. 

The following vacancies in the membership exist : one in 
the Resident, two in the Corresponding, and four in the Hon- 
orary Membership. 

During the year the following gentlemen were elected as 
Resident Members : Ephraim Emerton, April 9, 1903 ; Waldo 
Lincoln, May 14, 1903 ; Frederic Jesup Stimson, June 11, 
1903; Edward Stanwood, October 8, 1903 ; Moorfield Storey, 
November 12, 1903 ; Thomas Minns, January 14, 1904 ; Roger 
Bigelow Merriman, February 11, 1904. The following were 
elected Corresponding Members : Horace Davis, April 9, 1903 ; 
Sidney Lee, January 14, 1904. 

The following publications have been issued by the Society 
during the year: Proceedings, Second Series, Vol. XVI. 


(March to December, 1902) ; Proceedings, Second Series, Vol. 
XVII. (January to October, 1903), and two serial numbers, 
November, 1903, to January, 1904. 

Death has not spared our ranks during the year. The 
melancholy duty has fallen upon the Council of filling no less 
than four vacancies in our numbers occasioned by this cause. 
John Tyler Hassam departed this life on the 22d of April, 
1903; William Sumner Appleton, April 28, 1903; George 
Harris Monroe, October 15, 1903 ; Henry -Stedman Nourse, 
November 14, 1903. The death of a fifth member, Egbert 
Coffin Smyth, April 12, has occurred since our last meeting. 
We have lost during the je^ir three Corresponding Members : 
Edward McCrady, November 1, 1903; Hermann Eduard von 
Hoist, January 20, 1904; Sir Leslie Stephen, February 22, 

In addition we have to record the loss of two Honorary 
Members: William Edward Hartpole Lecky, October 22, 
1903 ; Theodor Mommsen, November 1, 1903. 

The following memoirs have been presented to the Society 
during the year : October, 1903, memoir of John Davis Wash- 
burn, by Henry S. Nourse ; October, 1903, memoir of William 
Sumner Appleton by Charles C. Smith ; December, 1903, 
memoir of Roger Wolcott by William Lawrence ; December, 
1903, memoir of Edward Everett, communicated by William 
Everett ; January, 1904, memoir of Horace Gray, by George 
F. Hoar. 

The following is a list of such publications by members, 
during the year, as have come to the knowledge of the 
Council : — 

The Constitutional Ethics of Secession, and " War is Hell." Two 
Speeches of Charles Francis Adams, delivered respectively at Charles- 
ton, S. C, December 22, 1902, and at New York, January 26, 1903. 

The Acts and Resolves, Public and Private, of the Province of the 
Massachusetts Bay : to which are prefixed the Charters of the Province. 
With Historical and Explanatory Notes, and an Appendix. Volume XL 
1726-1734. Edited by Melville M. Bigelow. 

Notes on the Report of Teobert Maler in Memoirs of the Peabody 
Museum. Vol. II., No. II. By Charles P. Bowditch. Privately 

Boston "Banks," 1681-1740. Those who were interested in them. 
By Andrew McFarland Davis. 


The Confiscation of John Chandler's Estate. By Andrew McFarland 

The Fund in Boston in New England. By Andrew McFarland 

New Hampshire Notes, 1735. Those who agreed not to receive 
them. By Andrew McFarland Davis. 

The Beauty of Wisdom. By James DeNormandie. 

More Money for the Public Schools. By Charles W. Eliot. 

Ultimate Conceptions of Faith. By George A. Gordon. 

Peabody Education Fund. Proceedings of the Trustees at their 
Forty-third Meeting, New York, 8 October, 1903. Edited by Samuel 
Abbott Green, Secretary and General Agent. 

Peabody Education Fund. Proceedings of the Trustees at their 
Forty-fourth Meeting (a special meeting), Washington, 28th January, 
1904. Edited by Samuel A. Green, Secretary and General Agent. 

Ten Fac-simile Reproductions relating to Various Subjects. By 
Samuel Abbott Green. 

The Ideas of the Founders. An Address delivered before the 
Brooklyn Institute, November 4, 1903. By Edward E. Hale. 

Library of Inspiration and Achievement. By Edward E. Hale. 

New England History in Ballads. By Edward E. Hale. 

" We, the People." By Edward E. Hale. 

Adolescence. By G. Stanley Hall. 

Actual Government as applied under American Conditions. (Ameri- 
can Citizen Series.) By Albert B. Hart. 

Handbook of the History, Diplomacy, and Government of the United 
States. By Albert B. Hart. 

Source Readers in American History. By Albert B. Hart and 
others. No. 4, The Romance of the Civil War. 

Reader's History of American Literature. By Thomas Wentworth 
Hicr^inson and H. W. Bovnton. 

An Address delivered by United States Senator George F. Hoar. 
Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, Washington, D. C. [April 
13, 1903.] By George F. Hoar. 

Autobiography of Seventy Years. By George F. Hoar. 

Washington. Address before the Union League Club of Chicago. 
By George F. Hoar, February 23, 1903. 

Getting One's Bearings. Observations for Direction and Distance. 
By Alexander McKenzie. 

The Poet Gray as a Naturalist, with selections from his Notes on the 
Systema Naturae of Linnaeus and Fac-similes of some of his Drawings. 
By Charles Eliot Norton. 

The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of M™ Mary Row- 
landson. First printed in 1682 at Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Lon- 


don, England. Now reprinted in Fac-simile Whereunto are annexed 
a Map of her Removes, Biographical and Historical Notes and the last 
Sermon of her husband R ev Joseph Rowlandson. By Henry S. Nourse 
and John E. Thayer. 

Remarks on the Manuscripts in the Library of the American Anti- 
quarian Society. From the Report of the Council, presented April 29, 
1903. By Nathaniel Paine. 

Eighty Years of Uniou. Being a Short History of the United States, 
1783-1865. By James Schouler. 

The Publications of the Prince Society. Established May 25th, 1858. 
Sir Humfrey Gylberte and his enterprise of Colonization in America. 
Edited by the Rev. Carlos Slafter, with a Prefatory Note by the Presi- 
dent of the Society, the Rev. Edmund F. Slafter. 

The Diocesan Library, being the Twentieth Annual Report made to 
the Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of 
Massachusetts, held in Boston, May 13 and 14, 1903. By the Rev. 
Edmund F. Slafter, Registrar of the Diocese. 

William Sumner Appleton. By Charles C. Smith. [From the Pro- 
ceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Vol. XXXIX.] 

The various officers of this Society are required by our by- 
laws to be elected annually, and with the exception of a pro- 
vision in the case of Councillors whereby rotation in the 
Council is secured, it is evident that, notwithstanding the pre- 
scribed brevity of the term of their office, it was contemplated 
by those who drafted the instrument that such persons as 
should secure election to the permanent offices of this Society 
should practically hold them through successive re-elections — 
if not for the remainder of their respective lives, at least as 
long as the service should prove agreeable to them. These 
expectations have been practically realized, and year by year 
the Nominating Committee has had thrown upon it the simple 
duty of selecting the names of two candidates for the Council. 
Election to office in this Society is not an absolute guarantee 
against ill health or death ; hence once in a while there will be 
some vacancy, from one of these causes, in the list of perma- 
nent officers ; but it seldom happens, as is the case this year, 
that the Nominating Committee has thrust upon it the impor- 
tant service of presenting simultaneously the names of candi- 
dates to fill two vacancies in the staff of the Society. An 
examination of the ticket which will be submitted to the 
Society by the Council will disclose the fact that it no longer 
bears the honored name of Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, for 


several years one of our Vice-Presidents, and it will be noticed 
that another name has been substituted for that of Henry Fitch 
Jenks, whose form has become familiar to all of us through his 
response at our meetings to the call of the President for the 
report of the Cabinet-Keeper. 

The Council cannot permit the withdrawal of the name of 
Hon. Thomas Jefferson Coolidge from the ticket without some 
expression of regret that he should have insisted that this 
action should be taken. 

In permitting another name to be substituted for that of Mr. 
Jenks for the office of Cabinet-Keeper, the Council feel that it 
would fail in its duty if it neglected to express its sympathy 
for Mr. Jenks in the protracted illness which prevents him 
from performing the duties of his office. During the period 
that Mr. Jenks served as Cabinet-Keeper the collections of the 
Society were removed from their former place of deposit. The 
numerous portraits belonging to the Society were hung upon 
the walls of this building, and the busts were placed in the 
positions which they now occupy. Cases were prepared for 
use in the room devoted to the display of objects of historical 
interest, and with infinite labor and great skill the various 
objects exhibited there were arranged and duly labelled. All 
of this work Mr. Jenks superintended. Much of it he actu- 
ally performed. The Council feel that the thanks of the 
Society are due him in recognition of his arduous labors in 
this regard. 

The Annual Report of the Treasurer and the Report of the 
Auditing Committee were presented in print, as usual : 

Report of the Treasurer. 

In compliance with the requirements of the By-Laws, Chap- 
ter VII., Article 1, the Treasurer respectfully submits his 
Annual Report, made up to March 31, 1904. 

The special funds held by him are twenty-one in number, 
and are as follows: — 

I. The Appleton Fund, which was created Nov. 18, 1854, 
by a gift to the Society, from Nathan Appleton, William Ap- 
pleton, and Nathaniel I. Bowditch, trustees under the will of 
Samuel Appleton, of stocks of the appraised value of ten thou- 
sand dollars. These stocks were subsequently sold for $12,203, 


at which sum the fund now stands. The income is applicable 
to " the procuring, preserving, preparation, and publication of 
historical papers." 

II. The Massachusetts Historical Trust-Fund, which 
now stands, with the accumulated income, at $ 10, 000. This 
fund originated in a gift of two thousand dollars from the 
Hon. David Sears, presented Oct. 15, 1855, and accepted by 
the Society Nov. 8, 1855. On Dec. 26, 1866, it was increased 
by a gift of five hundred dollars from Mr. Sears, and another 
of the same amount from another associate, Nathaniel Thayer. 
The annual income mast be added to the principal between 
July and January, or by " a recorded vote " of " the Society " 
it may " be expended in such objects as to them may be desir- 
able." The directions in Mr. Sears's declaration of trust may 
be found in the printed Proceedings for November, 1855. 

III. The Dowse Fund, given to the Society by George 
Livermore and Eben. Dale, executors of the will of Thomas 
Dowse, April 9, 1857, for the "safe keeping" of the Dowse 
Library, which was formally given by Mr. Dowse to the So- 
ciety in July, 1856. It amounts to $10,000. The balance of 
income for the year has been placed to the credit of the Gen- 
eral Account, in accordance with what was understood to be 
the wish of the executors. 

IV. The Peabody Fund, which was presented by the 
eminent banker and philanthropist George Peabody, in a letter 
dated Jan. 1, 1867, and now stands at $22,123. The income 
is available only for the publication and illustration of the 
Society's Proceedings and Memoirs, and for the preservation 
of the Society's Historical Portraits. 

V. The Savage Fund, which was a bequest from the Hon. 
James Savage, President from 1841 to 1855, received in June, 
1873, and now stands on the books at the sum of $6,000. 
The income is to be used for the increase of the Society's 

VI. The Erastus B. Bigelow Fund, which was given in 
February, 1881, by Mrs. Helen Bigelow Merriman, in recog- 
nition of her father's interest in the work of the Society. 
The original sum was one thousand dollars ; but the inter- 
est was added to the principal to bring the amount up to 
$2,000, at which it now stands. There is no restriction as to 
the use to be made of this fund ; but up to the present time 


the income has been used only for the purchase of important 
books of reference needed in the Library. 

VII." The William Winthrop Fund, which amounts to 
the sum of $3,000, and was received Oct. 13, 1882, under the 
will of William Winthrop, for many years a Corresponding 
Member of the Societ\ r . The income is to be applied " to the 
binding for better preservation of the valuable manuscripts 
and books appertaining to the Society." 

VIII. The Richard Frothingham Fund, which repre- 
sents a gift to the Society, on the 23d of March, 1883, from 
the widow of Richard Frothingham, Treasurer from 1847 to 
1877, of a certificate of twenty shares in the Union Stock Yard 
and Transit Co., of Chicago, of the par value of $100 each, 
and of the stereotype plates of Mr. Frothingham's " Siege of 
Boston," " Life of Joseph Warren," and " Rise of the Repub- 
lic." The fund stands on the Treasurer's books at $3,000, 
exclusive of the copyright. There are no restrictions on the 
uses to which the income may be applied. 

IX. The General Fund, which now amounts to $43,324.43. 
It represents the following gifts and payments to the 
Society, and withdrawals from the Building Account: — ■ 

1. A gift of two thousand dollars from the residuary estate 
of Mary Prince Townsend, by the executors of her will, 
William Minot and William Minot, Jr., in recognition of 
which, by a vote of tile Society, passed June 13, 1861, the 
Treasurer was " directed to make and keep a special entry in 
his account books of this contribution as the donation of Miss 
Mary P. Townsend." 

2. A legacy of two thousand dollars from Henry Harris, 
received in July, 1867. 

3. A legacy of one thousand dollars from our associate 
George Bemis, received in March, 1879. 

4. A gift of one hundred dollars from our associate Ralph 
Waldo Emerson, received in April, 1881. 

5. A legacy of one thousand dollars from our associate 
Williams Latham, received in May, 1884. 

6. A bequest of five shares in the Cincinnati Gas-Light 
and Coke Co. from George Dexter, Recording Secretary 
from 1878 to 1883, received in June, 1884. This bequest for 
several years stood on the Treasurer's books at $900, at which 
sum the shares were valued when the incomes arising from 



separate investments were all merged in one consolidated 
account. Besides the regular quarterly dividends there has 
been received up to the present time from the sale of sub- 
scription rights, etc . the sum of 8337.56. which has been 
added to the nominal amount of Mr. Dexter's bequest. 

7. A legacy of one thousand dollars from our associate the 
Hon. Ebexezer Rocewood Hoae. received in February. 1S95. 

S. Twenty-eight commutation fees of one hundred and 
fifty dollars each. 

9. The sum of 6-0. 955. 17 was withdrawn from the proceeds 
of the sale of the Tremont Street estate, and added to this 
fund: and the sum of 6731.70 received from the Medical 
Library for cost of party-wall was deducted from the cost of 
the real estate and added to this fund. 

X. The Anonymous Fend, which originated in a gift 
of 61.000 to the Society in April, 1SS7. communicated in a 
letter to the Treasurer, from a valued associate, printed in the 
Proceedings (2d series, vol. iii. pp. 277, 278). A further gift 
of 6250 was received from the same generous friend in April, 
1SSS. The income has been added to the principal: and in 
accordance with the instructions of the giver this policy is to 
be continued (^see Proceedings. 2d series, vol. xiii. pp. 66. 67). 
The fund now stands at 62.9iS.51. 

XI. The William Amory Fend, which was a bequest of 
83.000. from our associate William Amory, received Jan. 7, 
1889. There are no restrictions on the uses to which the 
income may be applied. 

XII. The Lawrence Fund, which was a bequest of 
63.000. from our associate the younger Abbott Lawrence 
(^H. U., Class of 1849), received in June. 1894. The income 
is " to be expended in publishing the Collections and Pro- 
ceedings " of the Society. The cost of publishing Volume 
XVII. of the Second Series of the Proceedings was charged 
against the income of this fund. 

XIII. The Robert C. Winthrop Fund, which was a be- 
quest of 65.000. from the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop. Presi- 
dent from 1S55 to 1SS5. received in December, 1S94. Xo 
restrictions were attached to this bequest : but by a vote of 
the Society passed Dec. 13. 1894, it was directed that the 
income •• shall be expended for such purposes as the Council 
may from time to time direct." 




XIV. The Waterston Publishing Fund, which was a 
bequest of $10,000, from our associate the Rev. Robert C. 
Waterston, received in December, 1894. The income is to be 
used as a publishing fund, in accordance with the provisions 
of Mr. Waterston's will printed in the Proceedings (2d series, 
vol. viii. pp. 172, 173). The cost of publishing Volume 
XVIII. of the Second Series of the Proceedings, of which 
two serial numbers have already been issued, will be charged 
against the income of this fund. 

XV. The Ellis Fund, which originated in a bequest to 
the Society of $30,000, by Dr. George E. Ellis, President from 
18'85 to 1894. This sum was paid into the Treasury Dec. 20, 
1895 ; and to it has been added the sum of $1,663.66 received 
from the sale of various articles of personal property, also given 
to the Society by Dr. Ellis, which it was not thought desirable 
to keep, making the whole amount of the fund 831,663.66. No 
part of the original sum can be used for the purchase of other 
real estate in exchange for the real estate specifically devised 
by Dr. Ellis's will. 

Besides the bequest in money, Dr. Ellis by his will gave to 
the Society his dwelling-house No. 110 Marlborough Street, 
with substantially all its contents. In the exercise of the dis- 
cretion which the Society was authorized to use, this house 
was sold for the sum of 825,000, and the proceeds invested in 
the more eligible estate on the corner of the Fenway and 
Boylston Street. The full sum received from the sale was 
entered on the Treasurer's books, to the credit of Ellis 
House, in perpetual memory of Dr. Ellis's gift. 

XVI. The Lowell Fund, which was a bequest of the 
Hon. John Lowell (H. U., Class of 1843), amounting to 83,000, 
received September 13, 1897. • There are no restrictions on the 
uses to which the income may be applied. 

XVII. The Waterston Fund, which was received April 
21, 1900, in fulL satisfaction of a bequest from our associate 
the Rev. Robert C. Waterston. Some legal questions hav- 
ing arisen in connection with this bequest, the matter was 
compromised, and the sum of 85,000 was received, as stated 
in the Proceedings (2d series, vol. xiv. pp. 163, 164). The 
income is to be used for printing a catalogue of the Waterston 
Library, for printing documents from it, and for making addi- 
tions to the Library from time to time. The catalogue of the 


Library is nearly ready for the press; and it is expected that 
the volume will be issued in the course of the next financial 

XVIII. The Waterston Fund No. 2, which was a fur- 
ther bequest of 110,000 from Mr. Waterston, in regard to 
which there were no legal questions, and which was also re- 
ceived April 21, 1900. The income is to be used for " print- 
ing and publishing any important or interesting autograph, 
original manuscripts, letters or documents which may be in 
possession of" the Society. 

Besides the three Funds, for the creation of which provision 
was made by Mr. Waterston's will, the Treasurer received, 
under the will, the sum of $10,000, to be applied to the fitting 
up of a room or portion of a fire-proof building for the com- 
modious and safe keeping of the Waterston Collection. A 
room was accordingly set apart for that purpose, and the 
larger part of this sum was expended in making it con- 
venient and attractive. Some further expenditures must be 
made on this account, and any balance of cash remaining 
in the hands of the Treasurer will be used, in accordance with 
the terms of the will, in adding books to the collection, under 
the direction of the Council. 

XIX. The Robert Charles Billings Fund. This was 
a gift of $10,000, received April 16, 1903, from the surviving 
executors of the will of the late Robert Charles Billings. The 
income is to be used only for publications. 

XX. The John Langdon Sibley Fund. The amount to 
the credit of this fund represents a payment to the Treasurer 
of $4,000 on account, received Aug. 5, 1903, with interest at 
the rate of 4 per cent per annum since that time. It is expected 
that the balance coming to the Society will be received soon 
after the Annual Meeting. 

XXI. The Charlotte A. L. Sibley Fund. The amount 
to the credit of this fund represents a payment to the Treas- 
urer of $2,000 on account, received Aug. 5,1903, with interest 
at the rate of 4 per cent per annum since that time. It is ex- 
pected that the balance coming to the Society will be received 
soon after the Annual Meeting. 

On Dec. 16, 1903, the Treasurer received from the ex- 
ecutors under the will of the late Hon. Mellen Chamber- 
lain the sum of $5,520, on account of Judge Chamberlain's 


bequest to the Society to defray the cost of publishing his 
" History of Chelsea." This bequest will he treated for the 
present as an open account, — all payments for the History 
being charged to it, and interest credited on unexpended 
balances available for the purpose. It is expected that a 
further sum will be received on the final settlement of Judge 
Chamberlain's estate. 

The Treasurer also holds a deposit book in the Five Cent 
Savings Bank for $100 and interest, which is applicable to the 
care and preservation of the beautiful model of the Brattle 
Street Church, deposited with us in April, 1877. 

It should not be forgotten that besides the gifts and bequests 
represented by these funds, which the Treasurer is required to 
take notice of in his Annual Report, numerous gifts have been 
made to the Society from time to time, and expended for the 
purchase of the real estate, or in promoting the objects for 
which the Society was organized. A detailed account of these 
gifts was included in the Annual Report of the Treasurer, 
dated March 31, 1887, printed in the Proceedings (2d series, 
vol. iii. pp. 291-296) ; and in the list of the givers there enu- 
merated will be found the names of many honored associates, 
now living or departed, and of other gentlemen, not members 
of the Society, who were interested in the promotion of histori- 
cal studies. The} r gave liberally in the day of small things ; 
and to them the Society is largely indebted for its present 
prosperity and usefulness. 

To the benefactors there mentioned must be added Charles 
Francis Adams, President of the Society, who, in the sum- 
mer of 1895, bought a lot of land on the Fenway (3,000 
square feet), with a view of adding it to the lot bought by 
the Society, in case the latter should prove too small. When 
the plans for the new building were drawn, it was found to 
be desirable to make some change in the lines of the Society's 
estate, and the lot bought by the President was conveyed to 
the Society, with a verbal understanding that he should re- 
ceive for it an equal quantity of land on Boylston Street. In 
February, 1901, a portion of unoccupied land on Boylston 
Street (2,622^ square feet) was sold to indemnify the Presi- 
dent for the land conveyed by him to the Society. The dif- 
ference (13,000) between the sum paid by the President 
($15,000) and the amount received for the land sold ($12,000) 


was an absolute gift to the Society, and to this difference must 
be added the interest on $15,000 from the date of the original 
purchase up to the date of sale of the Boylston Street land, a 
period of nearly six years. 

The stock and bonds held by the Treasurer as investments 
on account of the above-mentioned funds are as follows : — 

$10,000 in the five per cent mortgage bonds of the Chicago and 
West Michigan Railroad Co. ; 

$5,000 in the four per cent bonds of the Rio Grande Western Kail- 
road Co. ; 

$8,000 in the four per cent bonds of the Chicago, Burlington, and 
Quincy Railroad Co.; 

$5,000 in the five per cent gold bonds of the Cincinnati, Dayton, 
and Ironton Railroad Co. ; 

$1,500 in the new four per cent mortgage bonds of the Atchison, 
Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad Co. ; 

$2,000 in the adjustment four per cent bonds, and thirty-three shares 
of the preferred stock of the same corporation, received in exchange 
for bonds of said corporation held by the Treasurer at the time of its 
reorganization ; 

$11,000 in the five per cent collateral trust bonds of the Chicago 
Junction Railways and Union Stock Yards Co.; 

$10,000 in the new five per cent bonds of the Oregon Short Line 
Railroad Co. ; 

$12,000 in the five per cent bonds of the Levviston-Concord Bridge Co.; 

$6,000 in the four and one half per cent bonds of the Boston and 
Maine Railroad Co. ; 

$10,000 in the four per cent bonds of the American Telephone and 
Telegraph Co. ; 

$2,000 in the four per cent joint bonds of the Northern Pacific Rail- 
road Co. and the Great Northern Railroad Co. ; 

$7,000 in the convertible five per cent bonds of the Kansas City 
Stock Yards Co. ; 

$6,000 in the four per cent bonds of the Long Island Railroad Co. ; 

$15,000 in the six per cent mortgage notes of G. St. L. Abbott, 
Trustee ; 

Fifty shares in the Merchants' National Bank of Boston ; 

Fifty shares in the State National Bank of Boston ; 

Fifty shares in the National Bank of Commerce of Boston ; 

Fifty shares in the National Union Bank of Boston ; 

Fifty shares in the Second National Bank of Boston ; 

Twenty-five shares in the National Shawmut Bank of Boston; 

Thirty-five shares in the Boston and Albany Railroad Co.; 

Twenty-five shares in the Old Colony Railroad Co. ; 


Twenty-five shares in the preferred stock of the Fitchburg Rail- 
road Co. ; 

One hundred shares in the preferred stock of the Chicago Junction 
Railways and Union Stock Yards Co. ; 

Three hundred shares in the preferred stock of the American Smelt- 
ing and Refining Co. ; 

One hundred shares in the Kansas City Stock Yards Co. ; 

Ten shares in the Cincinnati Gas and Electric Co., received in ex- 
change for five shares in the Cincinnati Gas-Light and Coke Co. ; 

Five shares in the Boston Real Estate Trust (of the par value of 
$1,000) ; 

Five shares in the State Street Exchange ; and 

Three shares in the Pacific Mills (of the par value of $1,000). 

The following abstracts and the trial balance show the pres- 
ent condition of the several accounts : — 


1903. DEBITS * 

March 31. To balance on hand ......... $630.45 


March 31. „ receipts as follows : — 

General Account 3,708.35 

Consolidated Income ........... 12,009.63 

Income of Richard Frothingham Fund ..... 79.10 

Waterston Library 13.75 

Robert Charles Billings Fund 10,000.00 

John Langdon Sibley Fund ......... 4,000.00 

Charlotte A. L. Sibley Fund ......... 2,000.00 

Investments 9,825.00 

Chamberlain Bequest 5,520.00 


March 31. To balance brought down $3,247.92 

1904. credits. 
March 31. By payments as follows: — 

Investments $32,088.30 

Waterston Library 54.50 

Income of E. B. Bigelow Fund 6.25 

Income of Savage Fund 470.92 

Income of William Winthrop Fund 246.50 

Income of Waterston Publishing Fund ...... 368.70 

Income of Peabody Fund ...... e . . . 329.66 

Income of Lawrence Fund 1,397.02 

Consolidated Income 129.89 

Chamberlain Bequest . . . 331.67 

General Account 9,114.95 

„ balance on hand 3,247.92 






1903. DEBITS 

March 31. To balance brought forward $9,567.77 


March 31. „ sundry charges and payments : — 

Salaries of Librarian's Assistants 3,997.00 

Services of Janitor 900.00 

Printing and binding 332.22 

Stationery and postage 125.90 

Light 55.26 

Water . 73.00 

Coal and wood 634.14 

Miscellaneous expenses 454.41 

Editing publications of the Society 2,000.00 

Painting and repairs 543.02 


March 31. By balance brought down $9,899.56 

1904. CRED1TS - 
March 31. By sundry receipts : — 

Interest $85.24 

Income of General Fund 2,586.99 

Income of Ellis Fund 1,890.70 

Income of Dowse Fund ........... 597.12 

Admission Fees .......... „ . . 175.00 

Assessments 720.00 

Sales of publications 1,008.59 

On account of expenses for maintenance, etc. . . . 1,719.52 

„ balance carried forward 9,899.56 



Income of General Fund. 

March 31. To amount placed to credit of General Account .... $2,586.99 

1904. CREDITS ' 
March 31. By proportion of consolidated income $2,586.99 

Income of Richard Frothingham Fund. 



March 31. By balance brought forward $1,262.77 


March 31. „ copyright received 79.10 

„ proportion of consolidated income 179.14 


March 31. By amount brought down $1,521.01 



Income of Savage Fund. 

1903. DEBITS ' 

March 31. To balance brought forward $106.06 

March 31. „ amount paid for books 470.92 

March 31. To balance brought forward $218.71 


March 31. By proportion of consolidated income $£58.27 

„ balance carried forward 218.71 


Income of Ellis Fund. 


March 31. To amount carried to General Account $1,890.70 


March 31. By proportion of consolidated income $1,890.70 

Income of E. B. Bigelow Fund. 

1904. DEBITS - 

March 31. To amount paid for books $6.25 

„ balance carried forward 817.15 


1903. CREDITS. 

March 81. By balance brought forward $703.98 

March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income 119.42 

' $823.40 

March 31. By balance brought forward $817.15 

Income of Massachusetts Historical Trust Fund. 

1903. CREDITS. 

March 31. By balance brought forward $1,684.29 

March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income 597.12 


March 31. By balance brought forward $2,281.41 



Income of Peabody Fund. 

1903. DEBITS ' 
March 31. To balance brought forward . $336.53 


March 31. „ amount paid for printing and binding 329.66 

„ balance carried forward , . . 654.81 



March 31. By proportion of consolidated income $1,321.00 

March 31. By balance brought down $654.81 

Income of Dowse Fund. 


March 31. To amount transferred to General Account $597.12 


March 31. By proportion of consolidated income ....... $597.12 

Income of William Winthrop Fund. 



March 31. To amount paid for binding $246.50 

„ balance carried forward 341.75 



March 31. By balance brought forward $409.11 

March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income 179.14 

March 31. By balance brought forward $341.75 

Income of Appleton Fund. 

1903. CEEDIT5 - 

March 31. By balance brought forward $4,414.27 

March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income 728.67 

March 31. By balance brought forward $5,142.94 


Chamberlain Bequest. 


March 31. To amount paid for preparation of copy of " History " . $331.67 
" balance carried forward 5,261.13 



March 31. By amount received from the Executors ....... $5,520.00 

„ amount of interest added ........... 72.80 

March 31. By balance brought down $5,261,13 

Water ston Publishing Fund. 


March 31. To amount paid for publishing " Proceedings " . ... . $368.70 
„ balance carried forward ........... 4,421.78 



March 31. By amount brought forward $4,193.36 

March 31. " proportion of consolidated income . ....... 597.12 

March 31. By balance brought down ............ $4,421.78 

Income of Lawrence Fund. 


March 31. To amount paid for printing and binding ...... $1,397.02 

„ balance carried forward ........... 129.29 



March 31. By amount brought forward $1,347.17 

March 31. „ proportion of consolidated income 179.14 

March 31. By balance brought down $129.29 


Waterston Library. 


March 31. To amount paid for books purchased $54.50 

,, balance carried forward 3,956.14 


March 31. By balance brought forward $3,996.89 

March 31. „ sale of duplicates 13.75 


March 31. By balance brought down ............ $3,956.14 



Cash $3,247.92 

Investments 220,833.02 

Real Estate 97,593.32 

General Account 9,899.56 

Income of Savage Fund 218,71 



Building Account $72,593.32 

Ellis House 25,000.00 

Appleton Fund 12,203.00 

Dowse Fund 10,000.00 

Massachusetts Historical Trust-Fund 10,000.00 

Peabody Fund 22,123.00 

Savage Fund .. 6,000.00 

Erastus B. Bigelow Fund 2,000.00 

William Winthrop Fund 3,000.00 

Richard Frothingham Fund 3,000.00 

General Fund 43,324.43 

Anonymous Fund 2,948.51 

William Amory Fund 3,000.00 

Lawrence Fund 3,000.00 

Robert C. Winthrop Fund 5,000.00 

Waterston Publishing Fund 10,000.00 

Ellis Fund . 31,663.66 

Lowell Fund 3,000.00 

Waterston Fund 5,000.00 

Waterston Fund No. 2 10,000.00 

Robert Charles Billings Fund , -. 10,000 00 

John Langdon Sibley Fund 4,104.89 

Carried forward $296,960.81 


Brought forward $296,900.81 

Charlotte A. L. Sibley Fund 2,052 41 

Chamberlain Bequest 5,261.13 

Waterston Library 3,956.14 

Income of Lowell Fund 1,062.85 

Income of Appleton Fund 5,142.94 

Income of William Winthrop Fund 341.75 

Income of Massachusetts Historical Trust-Fund 2,281.41 

Income of Richard Frothingham Fund 1,521.01 

Income of William Amory Fund 792.68 

Income of E. B. Bigelow Fund 817.15 

Income of Lawrence Fund 129.29 

Income of Robert C. Winthrop Fund 2,395.25 

Income of Waterston Publishing Fund 4,421.78 

Income of Waterston Fund . 1,134.66 

Income of Waterston Fund No. 2 7 2,269.31 

Income of Robert C. Billings Fund 597.12 

Income of Peabody Fund . . . . . 654.81 


The aggregate amount of the invested funds is $201,419.93. 
The securities which represent these funds stand on the Treas- 
urer's books at their net cost $220,833.02; but their market 
value is considerably higher. 

The income for the year derived from these investments and 
credited to the several funds, in proportion to the amount at 
which they stand on the Treasurer's books, was a little less 
than six per cent. 

Charles C. Smith, Treasurer. 

Boston, March 31, 1904. 

Report of the Auditing Committee. 

The undersigned, a Committee appointed to examine the 
accounts of the Treasurer of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society, as made up to March 31, 1904, have attended to that 
duty, and report that they find them correctly kept and prop- 
erly vouched ; that the securities held by the Treasurer for 
the several funds correspond with the statement in his Annual 
Report ; that the balance of cash on hand is satisfactorily 
accounted for; and that the Trial Balance is accurately taken 
from the Ledger. 

Winslow Warren 

M Committee. 
Thomas Minns, \ 

Boston, April 8, 1904. 


The Librarian read his Report, as follows : — 

Report of the Librarian. 

During the year there have been added to the Library : — 

Books 561 

Pamphlets 968 

Unbound volumes of newspapers 31 

Bound volumes of newspapers ....... 38 

Broadsides ............. 19 

Maps 21 

Manuscripts ............ 2,857 

Bound volumes of manuscripts ...... 110 

In all . . . 4,605 

Of the volumes added 329 have been given, 173 bought, and 
97 by binding. Of the pamphlets added, 743 have been given, 
198 bought, and 27 procured by exchange. 

From the income of the Savage Fund there have been bought 
172 volumes, 198 pamphlets, 1 bound volume of newspapers, 
4 unbound volumes of newspapers, 3 maps, 4 broadsides, 1 
manuscript ; and 10 volumes have been bound. 

From the income of the William Winthrop Fund there have 
been bound 87 volumes, including 37 volumes of newspapers, 
and 4 volumes have been repaired. 

Of the books added to the Rebellion Department, 16 have 
been given, and 85 bought ; and of the pamphlets added, 79 
have been given, and 61 bought. There are now in the col- 
lection 2,864 volumes, 5,421 pamphlets, 834 broadsides, and 
110 maps. 

In the collection of manuscripts there are 1,134 volumes, 192 
unbound volumes, 97 pamphlets with manuscript notes, and 
14,026 manuscripts. 

The Library contains at the present time about 47,802 vol- 
umes ; and this enumeration includes the files of bound news- 
papers, bound manuscripts, the Dowse Collection, and the 
Waterston Collection. The number of Waterston books, 
hitherto not included but now added to the Library, is 3,493 ; 
and the catalogue of this special collection will soon go to 
press. The Ellis books are still in process of cataloguing, and 
when the work is finished these too will be added. 


The Somerby volumes of genealogical material, which were 
given to the Society by Mr. and Mrs. Edward M. Stebbins, on 
June 11, 1874, have been deposited with the New-England 
Historic Genealogical Society, in accordance with a vote of 
the Council on November 12, 1903. Of this collection only 
102 volumes had been hitherto counted with the volumes in 
the Library. 

The number of pamphlets now in the Library, including 
duplicates, is 106,366 ; and the number of broadsides, including 
duplicates, is 4,099. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Samuel A. Green, 
April 14, 1904. Librarian. 

In the absence of the Cabinet-Keeper, the Librarian made 
the following Report : — 

Report of the Cabinet- Keeper. 

Owing to the illness and absence of the Cabinet-Keeper, I 
have been requested to make the Annual Report. The acces- 
sions during the year have been received from eleven different 
persons, and they comprise a variety of gifts. The rarest and 
most valuable of these additions are : — 

An engraving by Amos Doolittle, New Haven, August 14, 1799, 
entitled " A New Display of the United States," which has in the 
centre a portrait of John Adams. Given by the family of the late 
Professor John Farrar, of Lincoln. 

Photogravure prints from mezzotints by Peter Pelham of Cotton 
Mather, 1728; Benjamin Colman, 1735; William Pepperrell, 1747; 
William Shirley, 1747 ; Charles Brockwell, 1750 ; Henry Caner, 1750 ; 
Timothy Cutler, 1750; William Hooper, 1750; Thomas Prince, 1750; 
Thomas Hollis, 1751 ; John Moorhead, 1751 ; Mather Byles ; and one 
of John Adams, by Savage. Given by Frederick Lewis Gay. 

A rude sketch of the " Stuart Hospital at Richmond, Va., drawn by 
J. W. Allen, 1864." Given by William Henry Palmer, late Surgeon 
of the Third New York Cavalry. 

The Cabinet has been opened on Wednesday afternoons, 
though the attendance has been small. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Samuel A. Green. 

April 14, 1904. 


Mr. Charles K. Bolton read the Report of the Committee 
to examine the Library and Cabinet : — 

Report of the Committee on the Library and Cabinet. 

Your committee appointed to visit the Library and Cabinet 
spent a pleasant afternoon inspecting the treasures which have 
been brought together through the zeal of the members and 
friends of this Society during the last hundred years. We 
may congratulate ourselves on the possession of many of the 
best works in the various branches of learning, as well as a 
very satisfactory collection of works relating to local and 
American history. 

The use of books in public libraries is so destructive that 
we may properly consider it a part of our mission to gather, 
preserve, and hand down a well-selected library of New Eng- 
land history, which shall lack nothing of real importance, and 
shall have sets of annuals and serials complete as far as may 
be possible. A larger fund for the acquisition of rare Ameri- 
cana would be a welcome bequest, and would make possible 
purchases which seem unwarranted with the Society's present 
income available for this purpose. These books once upon our 
shelves would be a worthy legacy to future members. 

We noticed with pleasure the invaluable manuscripts, pam- 
phlets, newspapers, and special collections, such as that relat- 
ing to the Rebellion. They have been arranged with care, 
and any work can be found at a moment's notice. 

While one object of the Society should be to collect works 
of a strictly historical nature, there is much other material that 
is valuable for the light which it throws upon our institutions 
and the social life of the past. The large and curious collec- 
tion of early song and hymn books illustrates admirably a 
phase of activity and self-improvement that we are glad to 
believe was wide-spread and influential in our country towns 
a century and more ago. We are not sure that they are now 
less instructive than the long sermons which were delivered 
at the other end of the church, and were passed on in print to 
be so often searched in vain by us for enlightening historical 

The Cabinet proved equally attractive. Many articles in 
the cases will be found useful by the artist or writer who 


would picture the life of the Colonies for illustrated histories 
or school books. 

In recent reports on the Library and Cabinet various plans 
for affording more space have been considered at some length. 
We have nothing further to suggest on this subject. 

The members of this Committee appreciate the opportunity 
afforded them to become better acquainted with the Society's 
home. Through the kindness of the Librarian, Dr. Green, 
and the helpfulness of his assistants, Mr. Tuttle and Mr. Page, 
they have come to appreciate more fully the facilities for in- 
vestigation offered by the Society to its members. 

Charles K. Bolton, 
Edward Stanwood, 
Melville M. Bigelow, 

" April, 1904. Committee. 

Mr. Andrew McF. Davis, from the Committee to nomi- 
nate officers for the ensuing year, reported the following list of 
candidates ; and the persons named were duly elected. 

For President. 

For Vice-Presidents. 


For Recording Secretary. 

For Corresponding Secretary. 

For Treasurer. 

For Librarian. 

For Cabinet-Keeper. 


For Members at Large of the Council. 


Dr. Green having been elected to fill two offices, Mr. 
Arthur Theodore Lyman was, on motion of Mr. Davis in 
behalf of the Nominating Committee, elected an additional 
member of the Council, in order that that body should not 
be reduced below the number of thirteen persons. 

Mr. Grenville H. Norcross exhibited an original water- 
color drawing of a "View of the Colleges at Cambridge, 
Massachusetts, 1797," made by Houdin-Dorgemont, a 3'oung 
Frenchman from Guadaloupe, and sent by him to Abner 
Lincoln (H. C. 1788), the first Preceptor of Derby Academy, 
in Hingham, under whom the artist had studied when in 
Massachusetts. The picture belongs to Mrs. Henry F. Smith, 
of Concord, granddaughter of Mr. Lincoln. 

Lieut. Col. William R. Liyermore exhibited two hundred 
and forty maps for his forthcoming Historical Atlas of Europe, 
many of which had been exhibited at the January meeting in 

The object of the Atlas is to show by a series of maps, one 
for each decade during the historical period, all the political 
changes that can be represented on a scale of y^-g^-innr* The 
boundaries of the States and their subdivisions are shown as 
far as practicable, and where they are unknown the location of 
various races and tribes is shown in a more general manner. 
On the early sheets Italy and Greece are shown on a much 
larger scale. 

The first map is dated 1500 B.C., the next 1000 B.C., then 
800, then one every fifty years to 550 B.C., and every ten 
years from 520 B.C. to 1900 A.D., except in a few cases where 
there were no changes. About ninety-nine per cent of the 
work on the Atlas is completed, and about ninety-five per cent 

In turning over the sheets Colonel Livermore called special 
attention to those parts of the work not completed in 1898, 
namely, Ancient Greece from 1500 to 320 B.C. and to all the 
modern maps from 1100 to 1900 A.D. He said : " It is hoped 


that with this Atlas a student of European history will be able 
always to have before him a map showing the political boun- 
daries of the period he may be investigating, and be relieved 
from the necessity of reduplicating the labors of his predeces- 
sors in the same domain. 

"It is not to be expected that the first edition of the Atlas 
will be perfect in all its details, for information is always 
pouring in to enlighten almost all of the historical period ; but 
it is a great advantage of the system adopted that its very 
defects will call attention to those parts of history that require 

" I sincerely hope that its publication will induce other stu- 
dents to prepare similar Atlases of other parts of the world." 

Remarks were made during the meeting by the President, 
Mr. Winslow Warren, and other gentlemen. 






Henry Stedman Nourse, son of Stedman and Martha 
(Howard) Nourse, was born on April 9, 1832, in the village 
of New Boston now known as South Lancaster, in the town 
of Lancaster, Massachusetts. On his father's side he was de- 
scended from the unfortunate victim of the witchcraft delusion, 
Rebecca, wife of Francis Nourse, and on his mother's side from 
John Alden, the Pilgrim, through Alden's daughter, Ruth. 
Two of his great-grandfathers, Daniel Nourse and Jonathan 
Houghton, both of Bolton, were of the company of minute- 
men from that town that marched to Cambridge on the alarm 
of April 19, 1775, and are said to have " worn swords at 
Bunker Hill." They afterwards joined the Continental Army 
and were engaged in the subsequent operations of the Revolu- 
tionary War. 

After passing through the district and high schools of his 
native town, where, according to his own account, an insatiable 
love of indiscriminate reading was mistaken by his parents for 
a love of study, lie passed a happy period of life at the Lan- 
caster Academy under the instruction of Mr. Henry C. Kim- 
ball, and in the companionship of his future classmate and 
lifelong friend, the late John D. Washburn, with whose me- 
morial for this Society he was engaged during the last moments 
of his life. 

Much against his will he entered Harvard as Freshman in 
1849, where mathematics interested him more than any other 
of the college branches of instruction. While an undergrad- 
uate, to secure means for defraying his college expenses, he 
kept school at Lancaster during three winters with unusual 



success. On leaving college in 1853, Mr. Nourse was sent for 
by Professor Bo wen and offered the position of Professor of 
Ancient Languages at Phillips Exeter Academy. This he 
accepted and held for two years, when an offer of the much 
more advantageous, but to him less agreeable, position of 
Principal of Bristol Academy, Taunton, induced him to change. 
While at Taunton he gave such hours as he could spare from 
his duties as teacher to the study of the law in the office of 
Messrs. Baylies and John E. Sanford, but without expectation 
of becoming a practitioner. At the end of two years his health 
broke down, and neuralgia, bronchial ailments, and dyspepsia 
combined to make his life miserable. He needed and desired 
out-of-door occupation, and he resolved to enter the profession 
of civil engineering, for which his mathematical and mechanical 
tastes well fitted him. In 1858, after a recreative journey 
through the Middle and Western States, he entered the office 
of Whitwell k Henck, Boston, who were engineers in charge 
of the work of filling the Back Bay, then just begun. In 
1859 and 1860 he was engaged in building an extension of the 
Delaware Railway through the Eastern Shore of Maryland, 
when the work was interrupted by the troubles which culmi- 
nated in the Civil YY f ar, and he returned to Massachusetts, 
thinking that his qualifications as an engineer would entitle him 
to a commission in a Massachusetts regiment, but, although 
supported by strong testimonials, he was disappointed in this, 
his only attempt at soliciting an office or an honor. Through 
a letter from an old schoolmate and close friend in Chicago, 
who had been commissioned its adjutant, he was asked to join 
the Douglas Brigade, which needed an engineer, as the organi- 
zation was to be attached to Fremont's much talked of flotilla 
by which he proposed to open the Mississippi ; but the plan 
was not carried out, and Mr. Nourse became Adjutant and 
Captain in the Fifty-fifth Illinois Regiment, in which he served 
for more than three years and took part in all but one of its 
thirty-one engagements, the chief of which were Shiloh, 
Russell House, Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, the two 
assaults and the siege of Vicksburg, Champions Hill, Jackson, 
the assault of Little Kenesaw, Atlanta, Ezra Church, Jones- 
boro, Fort McAllister, and Bentonville. He was slightly 
wounded in the ankle by a shell at Shiloh, and had the usual 
and some unusual "narrow escapes." During the march from 


Atlanta to Richmond Captain Nourse was appointed Com- 
missary of Musters for the Seventeenth Army Corps, and was 
mustered out as Captain, although a commission of Lieutenant- 
Colonel awaited him had he chosen to return to the West with 
his command, of which he had been for three months the 
senior officer. 

In June, 1865, Mr. Nourse returned to his professional labors 
as engineer, and saw the completion of the Peninsula Railway 
to Crisfield, Maryland. Later he was employed upon the great 
bridge of the Pennsylvania Railroad across the Susquehanna at 
Perry ville. In September, 1866, he received the appointment 
of resident engineer to the Pennsylvania Steel Company, and 
began the construction of their Bessemer steel works on the 
Susquehanna near Harrisburg, now known as Steelton, becom- 
ing Superintendent of the same June 1, 1868. 

On September 12, 1872, Mr. Nourse was married to Mary B. 
(Whitney) Thurston, the widow of an old companion in arms, 
Captain George L. Thurston, by whom he had two children, 
girls, who died shortly after their birth. Becoming a victim to 
insomnia, owing to the strain of too much responsibility, Mr. 
Nourse resigned his office of Superintendent of the Steel 
Works January 1, 1874, and in August following, accompanied 
by his wife, began a year of travel in Europe, visiting in a 
leisurely way England, Holland, Belgium, Prussia, and Switzer- 
land, passing six months in Italy, two in France, and the 
months of June and July, 1875, in England and Scotland, 
with complete restoration of health as the result. 

Although invited on his return to become manager of new 
steel works in Missouri, Mr. Nourse thought it prudent to de- 
cline, and instead settled down at Lancaster, occupying himself 
with the care of a few acres of land, taking a working interest 
in town affairs, and being professionally employed by the 
Maverick Oil Company of East Boston. 

Mr. Nourse was elected a member of the Massachusetts 
House of Representatives for the year 1883 by the Fifth Wor- 
cester Representative District, and chosen to represent the 
Fifth Worcester Senatorial District in the Senates of 1885 and 
1886, and had the chairmanships of Committees on Roads and 
Bridges, Labor, and Public Service. His vote was against the 
Soldiers' Exemption bill. He reframed the State Game Laws 
in 1886 " in the interest of the birds " by radical amendments 


of the bill which had passed the House, and which as amended 
by him passed the Senate unanimously, the House acquiescing. 
Mr. Nourse was appointed Trustee of the Worcester Insane 
Hospital in 1888, and held the office for two terms of six years 
each. In 1890 he became a member of the Free Library Com- 
mission, a position which he held at the time of his death, and 
in 1898 a member of the Board of Lunacy and Charity, 
besides being for more than twenty-five years one of the library 
trustees in Lancaster, and holding other town offices. 

On July 29, 1899, he had the misfortune of losing his wife, 
to whom he was tenderly attached. 

Mr. Nourse was a member of the American Antiquarian 
Society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Massachu- 
setts Military Historical Society, and of the Massachusetts 
Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. His pub- 
lished works were, 1884, " Early Records of Lancaster, 1643- 
1725"; 1887, " The Story of the Fifty-fifth Regiment Illinois 
Infantry Volunteers " ; 1889, " The Military Annals of Lancas- 
ter, 1740-1865 " ; 1890, "The Birth, Marriage, and Death Reg- 
ister, Church Records and Epitaphs of Lancaster, 1643-1850 " ; 
1894, " The History of the Town of Harvard " ; 1899, " The 
Ninth Report of the Free Public Library Commission " (an 
illustrated history of the Public Libraries of Massachusetts) ; 
1903, " The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of 
Mrs. Mary Rowlandson." Pamphlets : " The Hoar Family in 
America and its English Ancestry," "A Forgotten Patriot, Gen- 
eral John Whitcomb," " Mrs. Mary Rowlandson's Removes," 
u The Public Libraries of Massachusetts," " The Bibliography 
of Lancaster, Massachusetts." 

Mr. Nourse's literary work was distinguished not only by 
painstaking care and research, but by an agreeable humor and 
a keen appreciation of those incidents which gave a personal 
and human interest to dry details of local history. 

Mr. Nourse died with extreme suddenness on the fourteenth 
day of November, 1903. He had attended a meeting of this 
Society two days previously, and had come to town the day 
before in his usual health. He had never remarried. 

For the foregoing account the writer is almost wholly in- 
debted to an autobiographical sketch in his possession. 



A stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 12th instant, 
at three o'clock, p. m. ; the President in the chair. 

The record of the Annual Meeting was read and approved ; 
and reports were received from the Corresponding Secretary 
and the Librarian, the latter of whom said: 

In behalf of Mrs. Ellen Hinckley Waitt, of Yonkers, New 
York, but formerly of Dorchester, I wish to present a water- 
color painting of the British fleet which brought over the 
" Sam Adams " regiments, as it appeared in Boston Harbor, 
on October 1, 1768. The picture is still enclosed in the origi- 
nal frame, and its dimensions are about twenty-eight inches 
by nine inches. The water-mark of the paper is surmounted 
by a crown, and underneath are the letters " LVG " ; and 
on the back is written, probably in a contemporary hand: 
" The property of Daniel Adams." It is dedicated to Thomas 
Vernon, and was painted by Christian Remick, an artist of 
some local repute in his day, who is known to have made 
several other similar copies of the picture, all somewhat larger 
than this one. The Essex Institute at Salem is the fortunate 
possessor of two, one copy dedicated to Jonathan Peal, and 
the other with an inscription beginning with the words " Magna 
Charta"; the New-England Historic Genealogical Society owns 
another, dedicated to Gibbens Sharp ; and at the late Whit- 
more sale on November 11-14, 1902, a fourth copy, dedicated 
to John Hancock and once belonging to him, was bought by 
certain gentlemen connected with the Club of Odd Volumes, 
and has recently been engraved. 

The copy now presented by Mrs. Waitt was given to her by 
Miss Jane Fettyplace, of East Boston, about the year 1870. 

Christian Remick, the artist, was a native of Eastham, where 
he was born on April 8, 1726, and, like his father, was a sailor 


and master mariner. The following advertisement taken from 
" The Boston-Gazette, and Country Journal," October 16, 
1769, gives some interesting facts connected with his artistic 
work : — 

Christian Remick, lately from Spain, 

BEGS Leave to inform the Public, That he performs all sorts of 
Drawing in Water Colours, such as Sea Pieces, Perspective 
Views, Geographical Plans of Harbours, Sea-Coasts, &c. — Also, 
Colours Pictures to the Life, and Draws Coats of Arms at the most 

reasonable Rates. Specimens of his Performances, particularly an 

accurate View of the Blockade of Boston, with the landing the British 
Troops on the first of October 1768, may be seen at tne Golden-Ball 
and the Bunch of Grapes Taverns, or at Mr. Thomas Bradford's, 
North-End, Boston. 

The Treasurer said that since the last meeting he had 
received the amount of the bequests to the Society under the 
wills of John Langdon Sibley and of Charlotte A. L. Sibley. 
The amount to the credit of the John Langdon Sibley Fund, 
including one quarter part of the income since Mrs. Sibley's 
death, is 1154,704.28 ; the balance of the income, -15,490.84, 
has been placed to the credit of Income of John L. Sibley 
Fund. The amount to the credit of the Charlotte A. L. 
Sibley Fund is 822,509.48. 

Messrs. Edward J. Young, Alexander McKenzie, and Charles 
C. Smith were appointed a Committee to publish the Proceed- 
ings for the current year ; and Messrs. Charles C. Smith, Wins- 
low Warren, and Charles K. Bolton a Committee to publish a 
selection from the Heath Papers given to the Society by the 
late Amos A. Lawrence. 

In answer to a call from the President, Rev. Dr. Alexander 
McKenzie said : 

I am happy to speak informally of my friend Professor 
Smyth, and the more because he was not well known to the 
gentlemen of the Society, while he was one of its worthiest 
members. His life was retired, and his work apart from the 
things with which most are concerned. He attended these 
meetings while he could, and made contributions to our pro- 
ceedings. Yet if he was to a good degree a stranger here, 
he had a large acquaintance among men who during fifty 



years had been his pupils at Brunswick and Andover, and in 
connection with the interests of the Congregational Church. 

He was wellborn, — the son of William Smyth, for more 
than fifty years the Professor of Mathematics in Bowdoin 
College, where the son graduated in 1848. He was the oldest 
of eight children, another of whom, Dr. Newman Smyth of New 
Haven, is honorably known among scholars. The father was 
a man of strong character and of influence in his State, where 
he bore an active part in public affairs. After leaving college 
the son Egbert studied in the Bangor Theological Seminary 
and at Andover and at two separate periods in Germany. He 
was for two years the Professor of Rhetoric at Bowdoin, and 
for seven years he was there the Professor of Natural and Re- 
vealed Religion, with which the office of college preacher and 
pastor was connected. In 1863 he became Professor of Eccle- 
siastical History in the Seminary at Andover. From economy 
or for convenience he was also for a time the lecturer on 
Pastoral Theology, — the practical side of a pastor's life. The 
professorship he held until his death. The field of church 
history is large, and he chose as his special province the 
history of Christian doctrine. He had, of course, a frame- 
work of dates and names, of councils and decrees ; but his 
closer interest was with the advance of thought and the course 
of the truth or truths involved in this. Here his learning was 
broad and profound and steadily increasing. His work was 
thoroughly done, with the utmost carefulness and sincerity. 
He was the true historian. He was an inspiring teacher 
for those who wished to know the things he taught and to be 
accurate in them ; who had something of his delight in tracing 
the course of doctrinal thought. To those who would have 
been content with an outline, with a picturesque presentation 
of men and of notable occurrences, he was not interesting. 
They called for instruction which was more stirring, more 
readily received and repeated. His lectures were the work 
of a scholar for men who desired to be scholars. The num- 
ber of these varied from }-ear to year, but there were always 
those who could accept this substantial teaching, which hon- 
ored his position and himself. 

But Professor Smyth was best esteemed by those who best 
knew him. In manner he was reserved, apparently remote. 
Plis imagination was not evident, and his wit was not much 


in exercise. His heart was strong and warm, his sympathies 
quick and earnest. He was a pleasant companion, whose con- 
versation was of advantage, with its ample knowledge and its 
interest in the world and its concerns. If one were near him, 
it was easy to see how rich and generous his nature was. His 
home was like himself: simple, refined, kindly, hospitable. 
His wife was the daughter of one of the most eminent and 
elegant of the clergymen of Maine, the Rev. Dr. William T. 
D wight. She was a woman fitted in all respects to be his asso- 
ciate in his life and work. She was, perhaps, quicker than he, 
with more spirit and ambition. But their thought and purpose 
were one. They had no children, but many friends and guests, 
and their guests became their friends. 

His home was a retreat for him out of the storms of the 
world. It was a refuge, a sanctuary. The storms were not 
very widely spread ; they did not sweep around the world 
and disturb its oceans. But they were serious to those who 
felt them, and he was at the centre of them, where their noise 
was heard and their full force was felt. The events in his life 
were not such as would be greatly cared for or long remem- 
bered in a gathering like this. They were of importance in 
his province. Where he was, where his influence was felt, 
he stood prominently and stoutly for liberty of thought and 
speech. He was never noisy, but he made himself heard. His 
study of history had taught him that good men think on dif- 
ferent lines, and that every man is free born and should assert 
his freedom while respecting in others what he claims for 
himself. I cannot repeat the story of the contest in which 
he had a conspicuous part. It is not a simple matter to tell 
where it began. It was known on Andover hill that Professor 
Smyth was not in favor with his eminent colleague whose pres- 
ence rarely, if ever, brightened these rooms, and whose name 
was not long ago taken from our rolls by a hand which we 
cannot resist. I do not remember, if I ever knew, why Pro- 
fessor Park did not altogether approve his younger neighbor. 
Their two chairs had been in some degree alienated before 
this time. Is there any incongruity between Theology and 
History? This is possible. Their methods and interests are 
not without differences. Sometimes the one, and sometimes 
the other, prevails. I fear that for the most part Theology 
and its adjuncts prevail against History. However that may 


be, there was some measure of coldness between these two 
men. This would not have been worth mentioning if it had 
not happened that, upon Professor Park's resignation of his 
office, Dr. Smyth, of New Haven, was chosen by the Trustees 
as his successor. That anomalous body known as the Board 
of Visitors refused to confirm the election. A new question 
was then brought forward, and in Congregational circles, 
and bej^ond them, it assumed a large importance. Phrases 
were coined for its definition, such as " the new departure," 
"future probation," and the like. They have long been 
obsolete, but for months they had a semblance of life, and 
brought in confusion, and parted friends, and uttered dark 
prophecies. The question, briefly stated, was whether a man's 
life is always determined by the part of it which he spends in 
this world. There was said to be something of partiality and 
a lack of fairness if this is so, inasmuch as many have here 
the teaching of Christ and his ministry, while others have no 
knowledge of him or of his words, yet those from Christian 
and those from heathen lands go on to the same judgment. In 
view of this, it was suggested that bevond this world Christ 
could be made known to those who had not heard of him, 
and could thus have the benefit of his work of redemption. 
This was not clearly proved, but it was believed by many, and 
hoped by more. An enthusiast, with an erratic mind, ven- 
tured the thought that in an interval between a man's ceasing 
to breathe and the final act of death he might come under 
gracious influences which he had not before known. This led 
to one of Professor Smyth's rare bits of satire and humor, 
that this was a substitution for probation after death of pro- 
bation after breath. I cannot pursue this subject. A great 
deal was said and written, apparently with little result. In 
all this Professor Smyth was conspicuous. He had his place 
in councils for settling ministers, where this question was sure 
to come up; and he was on the Committee of the American 
Board which was sending missionaries abroad. Should men 
and women be sent who were not sound on this article of the 
faith? The churches finally took the decision into their own 
hands, and the more liberal views carried the day. Very 
soon the charge was heard that, not on this point alone, but 
on others also, most of the Andover professors were not 
true to their obligations to the much misunderstood docu- 


ment known as the Andover Creed. They had engaged to 
teach what it taught, and it was charged that they were not 
doing it. Not in their lectures only, but in their writings, 
and especially in a magazine which they published, called the 
"Andover Review," they were asserting or defending "the 
new departure." Complaint was made to the Visitors, and 
five professors were -put upon trial. This was a serious affair, 
for it involved the interpretation of the creed. Some de- 
manded a very close adherence to its terms as they were 
understood when it was written. Others claimed that it 
should be taken in what was known as the " historic sense," 
and for "substance of doctrine." Upon essentially the same 
evidence, with personal variations, four of the defendants 
were acquitted, and one, whose life we are reviewing, was 
condemned, and at once declared removed from his office. To 
this some men might have submitted. Professor Smyth was 
not of that temper. How often we find in a man of mild 
manners a belligerent spirit ! He refused to be put out of his 
professorship in this fashion. The Trustees stood with him. 
The appeal went to the Supreme Court of the State, where 
hearing followed hearing for weary years, and with distin- 
guished lawyers on both sides. Finally, by a divided vote, 
the court dismissed the cause, by reason of a technical irregu- 
larity, and to this day the case remains undecided, save as time 
has given the judgment from which no appeal is taken. It 
now ranks with antiquities. There were two results : the treas- 
ury of the institution lost more than thirty thousand dollars 
in legal expenses ; but also the claim which Professor Park 
had asserted when he was himself the defendant was con- 
firmed. He had asserted his right to do his own thinking, 
and this right is forever established upon those who have fol- 
lowed him. They are held to the creed so long as they serve 
under it, but they can read it for themselves. In all this 
prolonged discussion Professor Smyth kept his characteristic 
firmness and dignity. He was the scholar and the gentleman. 
He gave no signs of malice or ill-will. He believed that he 
was right, and he defended his position. 

His last years were quiet and industrious. His students 
were few, but his teaching did not fail. He was unwilling 
that the Seminary should leave " the sacred hill " for Cam- 
bridge, and he was ready to work on to the end in the old 


place. The death of his wife preceded his by a few weeks, 
and now the manly form which we knew lies in the field where 
so many illustrious men have found repose. 

What more shall I say of him? He was conservative, for 
he was the historian, and he was at liberty ; he was fond of 
the old, but honest towards the new, for he was the learner 
from old men and the teacher of young men. His life was, 
in the highest measure, spiritual; with "polemic sagacity" he 
had a generous and affectionate heart. It is the instance of 
another man who has done his work faithfully, spoken his word 
bravely, and added to the learning and the virtue of his time. 

Messrs. Edward Stanwood and Morton Dexter followed 
in a few remarks bearing testimony to the skill and fidelity of 
Dr. McKenzie's portraiture of his friend. 

Mr. Josiah P. Quincy communicated copies of eight letters 
from Miss Anna Cabot Lowell to Mrs. Anne Grant, and said : 

I am going to give into the keeping of the Society this thin 
package of letters — or rather copies of letters — written by a 
lady who was one of the most esteemed figures in the social 
life of Boston during the first decade of the last century. I 
can almost persuade myself that I had the privilege of know- 
ing Miss Anna Cabot Lowell, so vividly was her personality 
put before me from the recollections of those with whom my 
youth w|is in contact. She was the dearly beloved friend 
of my grandmother, who called one of her daughters by Miss 
Lowell's name. 

The lady left this life some score of years before I entered 
it; yet I can easily understand how the occult forces of the 
subconscious mind might put a creative pressure upon inci- 
dents derived from others even to the point of presenting 
them as personal recollections. And this induces me to add 
an illustration to a paper upon the limits of reliable memory 
which I had the privilege of reading to the Society some three 
years ago. I refer to the striking instance of pseudo-memory 
given in the recently published biography of James Martineau 
— a man of unusual intellectual vigor and exceptional keen- 
ness of perception. Dr. Martineau had a distinct recollection 
of having heard Theodore Parker preach. In the language of 
his biographer, he was accustomed to declare that the occa- 


sion had left a vivid impression upon his memory. It was 
with much difficulty that Dr. Martineau was at length con- 
vinced that he had been absent from Liverpool on the single 
Sunday that Mr. Parker preached there, and that his sup- 
posed memory was an image constructed from the descrip- 
tions of others. This seems to me to furnish a striking 
warning of the caution with which recollections — even those 
of persons of high intellectual competency and undoubted ve- 
racity — should be considered in the production of history. 
Memory, especially in persons of advanced years, may easily 
exchange its function of a recorder for that of a producer. 

These letters of Miss Lowell were addressed to Mrs. Anne 
Grant, of Laggan, in Scotland. This lady came to America 
as a child in 1758 and passed ten years here. Her experience 
at length took the form of a book bearing the title " Memoirs 
of an American Lady" — the lady being Madame Schuyler. 
The property of her father, Mrs. Grant mentions, " was swal- 
lowed up in the gulf of the Revolution," and she has naturally 
neither kindly feeling for that break with the past nor belief 
that its outcome could be other than disadvantageous to the 
Society she so pleasantly depicts. Early in the last century 
Mrs. Grant published another book called " Letters from the 
Mountains," and this certain admiring ladies in Boston had 
reprinted by subscription. Miss Lowell representing the sub- 
scribers, wrote to Mrs. Grant enclosing a draft for £100 as 
the first profits of the volume ; and so the correspondence be- 
gan. A member of Miss Lowell's family, who subsequently 
met Mrs. Grant in Scotland, had these copies made from the 
originals in that lady's possession. They were given to my 
grandmother, Mrs. Quincy, as a memorial of her friend. 

In a letter to Mrs. Hook, dated August 14, 1811, Mrs. 
Grant thus speaks of the death of her American correspond- 
ent : " I have lately received painful news from America. A 
light is there quenched which while it lasted spread intelli- 
gence and animation wherever its pure emanations reached. 
I speak of the admirable Miss Lowell whose prediction which 
I transcribed for you in one of my late letters, was fulfilled in 
November last. She was really like a dying lamp wasting in 
undiminished brightness, and cheering and enlightening all 
around her till the last drop of vital energy was exhausted." 

Miss Lowell's letters seem to me worth preserving, though 


it is not desirable to print them. The numerous collections of 
letters which it is now the fashion to thrust before the public 
often seem wanting in that unconscious exhibition of the fleet- 
ing moods of a personality which should give such compositions 
their peculiar interest. We doubt whether the conspicuous 
person was quite unaware that he was posing for posterity. 
In travelling I once came into friendly relations with a lady 
honorably known by reputation to all who are here. One 
evening she looked up from a letter she was writing and said 
to me : " I find it almost impossible to write naturally to a 
friend, for somewhere in the background of consciousness is 
the cynical question, ' How will this look in print after you 
are dead?" No such disturbing interrogation was heard by 
the writer of these letters. A certain embellishment of fine 
writing, which they may seem to us to show, was then per- 
fectly natural. Emotion called for more vigorous expression, 
as there were fewer channels into which it could be directed. 
The newspaper, which now scatters our sympathies about the 
world, provides no single spot upon which they can be con- 
centrated. The standpoint of the unsentimental sociologist, 
which circumstances now force upon us, was quite impossible 
to the limited outlook of a lady in the old town of Boston. 
And so I leave these expressions of a sincere and lovely 
nature for the perusal of the few who may find them of 

Mr. Quincy supplemented his remarks by reading several 
extracts from Miss Lowell's letters, which attracted much in- 
terest, and a strong desire was expressed that the letters, or 
some parts of them, should be printed. The whole matter 
having been referred to the Committee for publishing the Pro- 
ceedings, it has been thought best to print the first two letters 
and the last one in full, with extracts from four of the others. 
It may be added that Anna Cabot Lowell was the eldest child 
of Hon. John Lowell (H. U., 1760) by his first wife, Elizabeth 
Higginson, and was born in Newburyport March 30, 1768. 
She died in Boston December 18, 1810. Two of her brothers, 
John Lowell (H. U., 1786) and Charles Lowell, and two of 
her nephews, John Amory Lowell and James Russell Lowell, 
were members of the Historical Society, not to mention kin- 
dred of a later generation. 


Boston, March 18 th , 1809. 
Had the author of " Letters from the Mountains " 1 only displayed 
in them the powers of her understanding, an humble individual of her 
own sex in a distant country would hardly have presumed to address 
her. But she has also made her readers acquainted with the virtues 
of her heart. Candour, sensibility, and benevolence are qualities 
which give assurance to the most timid. Encouraged by them I will 
venture to introduce myself to your notice ; not to claim kindred with 
a superior mind, for that would be too aspiring, but simply as the 
amanuensis of a little circle who have entered into your joys and 
sorrows, who have followed you through the varied and picturesque 
scene of your native regions, reposed with you in the embosomed 
retreat of " green Laggan," wandered by the side of your favorite 
stream, entered the humble cottage, and taken to their bosoms your 
lovely children. They have wept with you at the dissolution of the 
dearest earthly ties, and feel ready to embrace those constant friends 
who appear still to cherish you. This is not a common interest, and 
the ladies who feel it are desirous to discover it by something more 
than profession. They are grateful to you for the respectable as well 
as interesting point of view in which you have placed the female 
character, grateful that you have taught the uubelieving to acknowledge 
that the possession and cultivation of the highest intellectual powers 
are not incompatible with the practice of domestic virtues and the 
performance of every-day duties. They are grateful too for the simple 
and elegant model of epistolary writing you have given to your own 
sex, and for the just sentiments and rational views of life impressed 
upon them by the eloquence of example rather than precept. In- 
fluenced by motives and feelings such as these, several ladies formed a 
plan of having an edition of the " Letters " printed here by subscrip- 
tion. They could not hope in a country not advanced enough for 
literary leisure, where hereditary wealth is never known, and is only 
acquired by commerce, where taste and refinement are usually found 
in retirement, and are often the only riches of their possessor, to 
dispose of a large number of books. Other circumstances, also con- 
spired to make the present moment an unpropitious one for such an 
undertaking. The mistaken policy of the rulers of our once prosperous 
and happy country by suspending all commercial intercourse has pro- 
duced a great deal of individual distress. Many industrious families 
are thrown upon the charity of the more opulent. Many who con- 

1 Mrs. Grant's " Letters from the Mountains " was first published in three 
volumes in 1806. It has since passed through numerous editions. A copy of the 
" First American from the Third London Edition " is in the library of the 
Historical Society. This is the edition which was printed under the direction of 
the ladies represented by Miss Lowell. — Eds. 



sidered themselves independent are by the present state of affairs 
reduced to half their former income ; and of course less disposition is 
felt to encourage genius and reward merit. But though obliged to 
limit their wishes your friends would not relinquish their design. 
Unchilled by predictions of ill-success from those who frowned or 
laughed at a female project, they have obtained a subscription for 
more than 800 copies, the diffusion of which will, they believe, impart 
pleasure and instruction. While at the same time they hope you will 
reward the little exertion by accepting the small sum which will remain 
after the expenses of the publication. A bill for £100 stg. will accom- 
pany this letter. After all the expenses are paid, and the books dis- 
posed of, we hope to make another remittance of about half that sum. 
We send also by the same conveyance a set of the books as a specimen 
of the manner in which the work is executed. It is, however, not 
a fair one as it respects the binding, which would be done in a 
neater manner if the time permitted it. The books are not yet 
ready for delivery, but unwilling to lose an opportunity which may not 
soon occur again we have had this finished in a hurried manner. 
With the books you will receive a written list of subscribers. It is not 
compleat, as the lists have not been returned from New York or 
Philadelphia, — in those places, however, as the book w r as little or not 
at all known, little encouragement has been given it. In this town 
and its vicinity, where the personal influence of the ladies who under- 
took the work is great, it has received a liberal patronage. And per- 
haps it will gratify you to learn that almost every name is to be found 
in the very first rank of society in our country. Will it be presump- 
tuous to ask in return from you not merely an acknowledgment that 
you have received our communication, but some little account of your 
present situation, of the objects and friends you have rendered so 
interesting to us. Have your children fulfilled the early promise they 
gave of excellence ; do they still surround you and cheer the declining 
path of life ? Tell us of your favorite friends ; we almost feel that 
they are ours. Perhaps you also may wish to know something of 
those who feel so well acquainted with you. Had you visited New 
England during the last twenty years the name of Higginson alone 
would cause the train of virtues connected with it to pass in review 
before you. It is a name which, like that of Howard, though in a 
narrower sphere, serves all the purposes of eulogium. Perhaps no 
individual with the same power ever performed so many acts of 
benevolence as the husband x of the lady who is among your warmest 
friends. It might be enough to say of her, that she merits to share 
his fame as she does his happiness, but I cannot resist the inclination 

1 Stephen Higginson, Jr. He married, as his second wife, the lady here 
referred to, — Louisa Storrow. — Eds. 


to add that in the beauty of her person, some traits of her character, 
and in some parts of her history, she seems to me to resemble your 
own lamented Charlotte. Her sister, Miss Storrow, whose excellence 
of understanding and warmth of heart would entitle her to your esteem, 
has also been active in aiding the little plan of the other ladies. I 
shall only say, that they are nearly connected with those already men- 
tioned by ties of family or friendship. Any letters sent to the care of 
S. Williams, Esq., Finsbury Square, London, will probably reach us in 
safety. Direct, if you please, to Miss Anna C. Lowell, Boston, New 
Eug d , and allow her to subscribe herself, with respect and friendship, 

Yours, &c. A. C. L. 

Boston, March 30*, 1809. 
If a letter inclosing a bill of exchange for an £100 has been so 
fortunate as to reach the hands of M rs Grant, she will already have 
been introduced to a circle of friends who love and admire her. The 
fear of becoming tedious or obtrusive by again repeating sentiments of 
which the heart is full, induces me to suppress much that offers itself 
to my pen. It is, however, necessary to say, that the delight imparted 
by your " Letters " has so much interested several ladies in this town 
that they have sought to diffuse the benefit by having an edition of 
them published here. In many respects the time was an unpropitious 
one ; but zeal and affection can do much, and what susceptible mind 
can read the "Letters from the Mountains" without having both 
awakened? A subscription for more than eight hundred copies has 
been obtained in a little circle. My brother, 1 a young clergyman of 
this town who received part of his education in Scotland, and returned 
with an enthusiastic affection for it, received a copy of your work. 
He cheerfully gave it to us for publication here, and now covers these 
several letters to some of his respected friends in Edinburgh. You will, 
I hope, receive by another conveyance the first bill of exchange, with 
a set of the books and a letter more fully expressing the feelings and 
views of your American friends. Allow me to repeat in this letter the 
hope that you will honour us by a reply, and will make us acquainted 
with the situation of those beloved children and those constant friends 
in whom you have already given us so lively an interest. With 
respect and esteem, Yours, &c. A. C. L. 

1 Rev. Charles Lowell, youngest son of Judge Lowell by his third wife, 
Rebecca Russell, was settled over the West Church in Boston, Jan. 1, 1806. 
He was Recording Secretary of the Historical Society from 1818 to 1833, and 
Corresponding Secretary from 1833 to 1849. — Eds. 


Boston, Nov br 8 th , 1809. 

My dear Madam, — You will allow me thus to reciprocate your own 
kind salutation, and to feel while I write to you that I am no longer 
addressing a stranger. Your interesting recital of so many of the events 
of your chequered life has awakened a sympathy which, though wide 
the ocean that rolls between us, may assume the name of friendship. 
I have just received your letter of August 12 th , with the brief but affect- 
ing history of the last few years of your life. . . . 

I am led to make these remarks by comparing your interesting wish 
" that our kindred ties might become bonds of endearment " with some 
passages of your Memoirs of an u American Lady." 1 When I tell 
you that I have read that work with unaffected, though not with 
unalloyed pleasure, do not suspect that my heart glows not with that 
"love of country" which you say "hardly exists here." Yes, my 
respected friend, however, in a qualified sense, your observations may 
apply to many portions of our extended nation, believe the assurance, 
that in N. England many a patriot may be found who does not u prefer " 
his country merely "because its rivers are wide and deep," or "because 
he has forests to retire to if the god of gainful commerce should prove 
unpropitious on the shore." Still less, because " if his negro is dis- 
respectful or disobedient he can sell him, and buy another," for in New 
England there is no such thing as slavery. A negro slave is an object 
I have never seen, except in other states and countries. The few 
domestic slaves (for we had no plantations that require their labour) 
that were held in this country received their liberty at the commence- 
ment of the revolution. And the slave trade, for the abolition of which 
some of the greatest and best men in Great Britain struggled so long in 
vain, has been prohibited under severe penalties by the laws of Massa- 
chusetts ever since it became an independent state. As this is a profit- 
able branch of trade, and as the adventurous seamen of the North are 
the carriers of all other merchandize for their Southern brethren, does 
not this prohibition afford some presumption that the " love of gain " 
has not u swallowed up every better principle"? But to enter fully 
into the vindication of a people who so nearly resemble the nation from 
which they sprung that they may well claim kindred with it would 
exceed the limits of a letter and require an abler pen than mine. I 
will content myself with simply stating some of the causes of the pain 
and the pleasure with which I perused your last work. . . . 

Your eloquent tribute to the memory of the great Hamilton must be 
read here with delight, for in no part of America was he more truly 

1 The first edition of Mrs. Grant's " Memoirs of an American Lady " was 
published in the latter part of 1808, and was reprinted in the United States 
in the following year. It has been often reprinted, both in England and in this 
country. — Eds. 


estimated. That in war and in peace he was the friend and counsellor 
of the great and good Washington would alone be proof of his tran- 
scendent merit. It may give N. E d a higher place in your esteem to 
know that in it reside some of the most beloved friends and confidential 
advisers of Hamilton whose brilliant career threw a glory round his 
nation. In some of the circles most dear to me I have seen his eye 
beam intelligence, and heard from his lips a flow of eloquence rarely 
excelled. One of those who shared his confidence and lived in his heart, 
did not long survive him. I speak of M r Ames, who has been styled 
the Burke of America. Listening senates have hung in rapture on his 
accents, and when he delivered his last celebrated speech on the British 
treaty even his political enemies melted into tears. Should you say, it 
was like drawing " iron tears down Pluto's cheek," the allusion would 
not be inapplicable. I could add the names of: Pickering, Cabot, and 
many other worthies who gave a lustre to the happy and dignified 
administration of Washington, whom could I make you personally 
acquainted with them would elevate your ideas of the New England 
character, of which Hamilton himself thought so highly, that at a public 
dinner not long before his death he gave as a toast : " The capital of 
Massachusetts, the headquarters of good principles." . . . 

I have learned from M r Philip Schuyler, a son of Gen 1 Schuyler, who 
is married to a connection of ours, that most of your recollections of his 
family are correct. He said, an old friend of his observed you had 
made some mistakes in blending the Schuyler and Cuyler family. 
There is, however, one mistake which I have been requested to point 
out to you, because it touches very nearly the reputation of an aged and 
amiable man in this place. It is an anecdote of a M rs Wendell, whom 
you describe as having been robbed of her property by the connections 
of her husband. A gentleman of the first consequence here, a man 
possessing the principles and manners of the Old School, and who 
remembers the family of the Wendells gave me the following account. 
Col. Jacob Wendell, the head of the family, came early in life from 
Albany and entered into a flourishing mercantile house. He married a 
lady of this State whose name was Oliver. He was beloved and 
respected, became a member of the King's Council, and was singularly 
hospitable and benevolent. When he died he left a moderate fortune 
of 8 or £10,000 sterling to be divided among his family. He had two 
brothers who came hither some years after him from Albany, — one a 
cooper, the other a sailmaker. He assisted them in their business, and 
being himself engaged in foreign commerce was enabled to give them 
employment. They were of course in some measure dependent on him. 
They both struggled hard through life, and left no property, which was 
at that period rarely, if ever, acquired in a mechanic employment. The 
brother who was a cooper brought a wife with him, who may have 


been the person you saw. She remained some years here after his 
death, and with her children received constant favours and attentions 
from her brother-in-law. The gentleman who related this (Jonathan 
Jackson, Esq.) remembers to have seen her at his father's house and at 
Col. Wendell's. She was called " Dutch Aunt" spoke bad English, and 
seemed to be a pious, good woman. She was treated with much kind- 
ness by the family. From these facts, which are remembered by many 
here, it seems impossible that she should have been defrauded of her 
property if she had any, and that too by a man so well known and so 
highly esteemed. The son of this Col. Wendell is the old gentleman I 
have mentioned, the Hon. Oliver Wendell. It is some evidence that 
his family could not have been considered as guilty of so great injustice 
by M rs Schuyler that he has all his life been in the habit of going fre- 
quently to see his connections in Albany, and always visited the 
venerable friend of your early youth. He was delighted with your 
notice of her in your Letters and became in consequence of it a sub- 
scriber to that work. As another proof of the innocence of this family 
the friend who gave me this information added, that when travelling, 
quite a young man, into the State of New York, this son of Col. 
Wendell's gave him a letter to Madam Schuyler, by whom he (M r Jack- 
son) was graciously received on account of his friend. She invited him 
to visit her again. This was not lon»; before her death. He describes 
her appearance and manners much as you have done, and was particu- 
larly impressed with her dignity and the influence she appeared to have 
on those around her. An example of which he saw and related. As 
there has been no other family of the name of Wendell in this place, 
and as this was connected with the Schuylers by marriage, it is not 
obvious how the mistake arose. Yet it seems highly probable there 
must have been one. 1 . . . 

If your time is too precious, will you not put a pen into the hands of 
one of your daughters, and allow them to continue a correspondence so 
valuable to us ? Perhaps the vicissitudes of life may at some future 
time lead them to this part of the world ; in such case they would not 
find themselves in a land of strangers. Many hearts will spring to 
meet them, and many hands offer them a friendly greeting. But the 
hand and heart of one who would do it most warmly will ere then be 
cold. Complaints of the lungs, slow often in their progress, but ever 
fatal in their termination, will, I know not how soon, call me from this 
world of shadows to one of bright realities. This hope is founded not 
in presumptuous self-dependence, but on the mercies of a gracious God 

1 The discreditable story on which Miss Lowell animadverts continues to be 
reprinted in the " Memoirs of an American Lady," without note or comment, and 
it seems proper that her rectification of it should be put on permanent record 
here. — Eds. 


and the merits of a compassionate Saviour. Once more, however, per- 
haps more than once, I may hear from you in this world. In another we 
are not forbidden to hope that what has been commenced on earth may 
be perfected. Engaged in the same sublime service we may learn to 
know and love one another ; for may not a portion of heavenly felicity 
consist in finding new springs of knowledge and new objects of affection? 
But should my intercourse with you in this way soon terminate, there 
are others who will long cherish your remembrance, and who are 
worthy of your friendship. 1 In my first letter I mentioned to you 
M rs Higfffinson and her sister Miss Storrow, as having united with me 
in the plan of publishing your Letters as models of epistolary style and 
lessons of life for our sex. The unbounded yet well-directed benevolence 
of S. Higginson, Jun r , has occasioned him to be called the American 
Man of Ross. 

" Him portioned maids, apprenticed orphans, bless, 
The young who labour, and the old who rest." 

Mrs. H. is young and beautiful ; her fine understanding and benevolent 
heart are engaged in aiding her husband in all his plans for the happi- 
ness of others. In these employments and in the duties of a wife and 
mother she finds sufficient occupation without entering often in those 
scenes of gaiety and splendor which their rank in society and ample 
fortune would enable her to enjoy. Her sister, united to a fine and 
highly cultivated understanding, has an exquisite sensibility of heart. 
Her ardent and feeling mind was warmly interested in your affecting 
history, and she feels as if she must be allowed to know and love you 

Another of your warm admirers is M rs Quincy. 2 This lady is a 
native of N. York, but marrying a gentleman of this place, she has been 
for some time the ornament of our circle. Her husband is one of that 
band of real patriots who are now defending the cause of good govern- 
ment in our National Legislature. Though branded with the name of 
" British partisan," he continues to support with firmness what he be- 
lieves to be [for the] best interest of his country. Mrs. Quincy is one 

1 In a letter to Mrs. Hook, dated April 23, 1810, Mrs. Grant copied the part of 
this letter beginning, " Perhaps the vicissitudes of life," and ending at this point, 
adding, " Thus far this angel mind, which seems already on the wing to a more 
congenial region. Dear and beloved friend, what can I add that you could read 
with interest after this ? " And in a letter to the same correspondent, in August, 
1811, occur the sentences quoted by Mr. Quincy in his remarks (see Memoir and 
Correspondence of Mrs. Grant of Laggan, vol. i. pp. 236, 237 ; 282, 283). — Eds. 

2 Wife of the Hon. Josiah Quincy, afterward President of Harvard College. In 
the privately printed Memoir of Mrs. Eliza S. M. Quincy are numerous references 
to Miss Lowell; and in a letter to his wife, dated Washington, Dec. 23, 1810, 
a few days after Miss Lowell's death (p. 143), Mr. Quincy characterizes her as 
" the most excellent and justly beloved of all your friends." — Eds. 


of my dearest friends; her understanding is my guide, and her virtues 
my model. I have sometimes imagined that in manners and character 
she resembled you. She is educating her children much as you would 
approve. Would the limits of a letter permit I could introduce you to 
several others not undeserving your notice. Should you pass the 
winter in Edinburgh [you] may probably meet with some young men 
who will be able to give some information of those friends here who 
will never cease to cherish a remembrance of you. It is now quite 
customary for such young men as can afford it to receive a part of their 
education in your country. There is at present a young gentleman by 
the name of Lincoln., who is pursuing medical studies. I am not person- 
ally acquainted with him, but he is well known to many of my friends. 
His family are respectable, and I have been assured his character is 
amiable and correct. There is also a very young man who has been a 
year or two in Edinburgh, and has I suppose become quite Scotsman by 
this time. He is son to a lady of handsome fortune and most amiable 
character. She is a widow, and though elegant, and not even yet old, 
has since the death of her husband devoted herself to the education of 
her children and the exercises of piety and charity. The young man's 
name is Codman. 1 I believe he resides with a clergyman named 
Dickson. . . . 

Boston, Dec br 25 th , 1809. 
... I mentioned in a former letter two young men from this 
place who, I believe, are not unworthy of your notice should you meet 
with them, M r Lincoln and M r Codman. In. Edinburgh you may also 
meet with some friends of my brother. He loves Scotland so much 
that I think he must have been beloved there, and perhaps I may say, 
not undeservedly so. Though only 27 years of age he has one of the 
largest congregations in our city, and is universally beloved by them. 
There is a family by the name of Cambell with whom he was intimate. 
Some of them are now in India. They were near relations to Col. 
Cambell of the Guards who was killed in the unfortunate expedition 
to Holland a number of years ago. Some of the young ladies loved 
him as a brother and have continued to correspond with him. With 
Professor Stewart and D r Hunter and several other gentlemen he has 
also corresponded, but the arduous duties of his parish, and the new 
duties of a husband and father, I might add nurse, for he is very 
domestic, occupy him so much that he exercises his pen but little except 
in a professional way. . . . 

1 Presumably George, eldest son of Mrs. Catharine Amory Codman, second 
wife and widow of the Hon. John Codman ; at the time this letter was written 
the young man was in his nineteenth year. — Eds. 


Perhaps it will give to your benevolent heart a degree of satisfaction 
to know that you have cheered so many hours of a poor invalid. 
My physician, who is also a beloved friend, declares that the interest 
I have taken in you for a year past has done more to keep me alive 
than all his prescriptions. It is certain that any thing which serves to 
give a new spring to the affections of a warm heart has a happy effect 
upon the health, and I have never yet suffered sickness to depress that 
enthusiasm which you happily say, is the "fan of a warm climate, and 
the fur of a cold one." At any rate, as long as this heart continues 
warm, you and the friends around you will dwell in it with undiminished 
regard. . . . 

Boston, June 19 th , 1810. 
. . . My second brother, 1 with his wife and children and a sister 
of M rs Lowell's are about to embark for Europe. Various motives 
induce them to travel at this time. The health of M rs Lowell, which 
has been for some time delicate, the hope of giving to their children 
some advantages of education superior to those in our own country, 
and the pleasure and improvement they anticipate from seeing other 
countries, have all their influence. Their reasonable expectations I 
hope will not be disappointed. They are sober, rational people, accus- 
tomed to domestic life, possessed of competence but without either the 
wish or the power to move in the dazzling sphere of fashion. They 
seek for themselves useful information and the society of the good and 
agreeable when they can be obtained with propriety, and for their 
children such attainments as will make them useful and happy in life, 
fit them for honorable professions, and enable them to mingle in the 
best society. On this subject, my dear M rs Grant, you may perhaps 
be useful to my brother and sister. You will be able to advise them 
of the best schools for their sons, as you have one of nearly the same 
age for whom your maternal solicitude has been excited. And should 
you permit M r3 Lowell to consult you respecting her daughter, I am 
sure your excellent judgment would be to her an invaluable treasure. 
You will find M rs Lowell so lovely in her character, you will discover 
in her so much good sense, so much delicacy of sentiment, so much 
sweetness of temper and purity of heart, that when you have penetrated 
the veil which humility and modesty may draw over her excellencies 
in the presence of a stranger, I am sure you will become interested in 
giving her your aid in forming a plan for her children while she resides 
among you. These friends will not be willing to encroach on your 

1 Francis Cabot Lowell, son of Judge Lowell by his second wife, Susanna 
Cabot. He was with his brother-in-law, Patrick T. Jackson, one of the founders 
of the cotton manufacture in Massachusetts ; and the eldest of his three sons, 
John Lowell, Jr., was the founder of the Lowell Institute. — Eds. 



time ; nor will they require any attentions which will not be perfectly 
convenient for you to pay. The pleasure of sometimes conversing with 
you during half an hour of leisure, should your residence be near them, 
they would highly estimate. . . . 

Boston, July 23 d , 1810. 
. . . The laws of our country divide estates equally, so that 
property becomes by division very moderate among a large family. 
And most families among us are large. Genius therefore has no 
patrons. We have no order of men who have fortune and leisure to 
cultivate and encourage talents. All must push their own way to fortune, 
and those who feel the celestial fire glowing within them are more 
likely where the popular form of government leaves the very first 
offices open to ambition, where every man who feels that he has 
superior talents feels that he may become President of the United 
States. They become politicians rather than poets. Some of our great 
men are occupied with ambitious views ; the Muses may long sleep in 
classic groves for them. Others, genuine patriots, beholding the inces- 
sant dangers of democracy, are obliged to employ all their talents to 
save the important institutions of law and freedom from popular fury. 
In this incessant struggle you see there is no room for genius to unfold 
its fairest blossoms. You justly say, " These will not bear either the 
rude breath of civil discord or the fierce blaze of despotism." There 
is one species of genius to which these observations do not apply, and 
for which our country, considering its youth, holds a high rank among 
the nations. I mean, Painting; it has for a long time been distinguished 
for giving birth to painters, who having in this country no masters, 
and no models but the great sublime of nature, are self-taught. Some 
of these now hold a high rank in Europe. West, the President of the 
Royal Academy, was born and educated in our country. Copley, 
whose portraits and historical pieces are admitted into the first cabinets 
in England, did not leave this town till he was in middle life. Trum- 
bull, whose paintings have received the highest praise, whose " Sortie 
of Gibraltar " alone would give him fame, is brother to the late 
Governor of Connecticut; he is not only a painter but a gentleman 
and a scholar, but he has unfortunately a wife who keeps him in the 
shade. We have also here now one of the first portrait painters living, 
Stewart. 1 He was many years in England and celebrated there. We 
have also a young man 2 who bids fair to surpass them all; his genius 
is wonderful ; he is a poet as well as a painter, but the pencil is his first 
and cherished love. Of course the other talent is less cultivated. He 

1 Gilbert Stuart. — Eds. 2 Washington Allston. — Eds. 



has visited England, France and Italy to improve himself. He re- 
turned to fulfil an engagement of the heart, hut as we have few or no 
purchasers for such pictures as his he will soon go to England, where I 
hope the sunshine of patronage may await his labours. Few young 
men deserve it more. His manners are polished ; his mind improved 
and elevated, his morals pure; he has none of the failings of genius 
but that which Miss Smith had, habitual reserve ; ] his too are hoarded 
treasures. Does not this production of great painters prove that genius 
may spring up in our soil? although circumstances may prevent the 
growth of some sorts of it. . . . 

Boston, August 10 th , 1810. 
Dear Madam, — The inclosed letters have for several days waited 
for a safe conveyance to your hands. Such is now presented. Some 
of our most esteemed friends are now about to embark for your country, 
and I commit my letters to their care, assured that they will see them 
safely forwarded, even if they should be prevented from visiting 
Edinburgh, which is very probable. M r and M r3 Higginson, the elder, 
are going to reside for some time in London. M r H. is an uncle of 
mine and father to the gentleman of the same name whom I have 
already mentioned to you. M r H. is a man of independent fortune, 
sound sense, and correct principles, truly respectable in all the 
relations of life. He goes to England partly in the hope that a change 
of climate for some time will retard the approaching infirmities of 
declining life, and partly to renew those early associations which are 
so pleasant, having been there in his youth. Still more powerfully is 
he drawn by having at present two sons fixed in London, one of whom 
he has not seen for many years, whom he parted with when he was a 
boy and went to receive part of his education in France, and whom he 
will now embrace as a man. This is so interesting a circumstance that 
although he expects to land at Greenock, he may possibly with M rs H. 
go immediately to London without visiting Edinburgh. My letters 

1 The reference is probably to Miss Elizabeth Smith, the eminent orientalist. 
In a letter to Miss Douglas, of New York, under date of Aug. 15, 1827, Mrs. 
Grant writes of her, as " the celebrated Elizabeth Smith, a creature of the highest 
attainments, the soundest and most extensive knowledge, and the most devoted 
and purest piety of any female in our times. She was beautiful, excelled in all 
female accomplishments, and dressed with as much taste and neatness as if she 
could do nothing else. Human imperfection there mnst be ; hers was extreme 
reserve. If not her looks, her soul was like Milton's Penseroso — 'communing 
with the skies '; yet she was not melancholy, but merely above the earth while 
in it. She died of consumption about twenty years ago." (Memoir and Corre- 
spondence of Mrs. Grant of Laggan, vol. iii. p. 98.) See also Dictionary of 
National Biography, vol. liii. pp. 32, 33. — Eds. 


will, I hope, be put into your hands by a friend 1 whom I highly esteem, 
and whose merit, I hope, will entitle him to the most unequivocal recom- 
mendation to your favour. Of this, however, he will not be able to 
avail himself, as his present tour is one of business. I regret that you 
will not become acquainted with this gentleman whose best qualities 
do not develop themselves at first. Possessed of a fine understanding, 
a correct and polished taste, a heart tender and generous, and a most 
peculiar urbanity of temper, he has also added the most liberal educa- 
tion this country can bestow, and has finished the cultivation of his 
mind and taste by two visits to Europe before this, when he resided 
some time in Italy, France, and England. He has looked upon all 
those countries with an enlightened eye, and has not like some 
travellers brought home weeds instead of flowers, tinsel rather than 
gold. He has been in very good society abroad, and in the very 
best at home. Perhaps, you would rarely meet with one who could 
depict more faithfully or more pleasingly all that is worth delineation 
of nature or of art in all those various climes. He will be, however, 
only a bird of passage through your city, but has said it would gratify 
him to be able personally to deliver this letter, and to pass half an 
hour in the society of one who is so much the object of esteem and 
affection in the little circle of which when at home he makes a 
part. This friend of mine was appointed to deliver an address before 
a literary society connected with our University at an approaching 
anniversary. He had prepared his composition, which it will not now 
be in his power to deliver, and yesterday was good enough to read it for 
my amusement. The subject is a comparative view of the literature of 
G. Britain, France, and Italy, and some thoughts upon the state of it 
in our own country. In treating of this last part of his subject he has 
very handsomely answered your question, — " Why our country has as 
yet made so few steps towards literary eminence." I just touched upon 
it in my letter in answer to you, but felt too sick to pursue the subject. 
Although this essay will not have the advantage of being delivered by 
the author, with an impressive eloquence which I am told he possesses 
when speaking in public, yet it [will] probably be printed, and I shall 
then have the pleasure to send you one, believing you will not find it 
unworthy of your approbation, and hoping it will supply some of the 
deficiencies of my own letter which I longed to be able to render more 
worthy of your perusal. See how you seduce me into prattling. I 
designed only to have mentioned our friends to you in a cover, and have 

1 William Tudor, Jr., founder and first editor of the North American Review, 
and author of " The Life of James Otis." (For a notice of him, with a portrait, 
see Proceedings, vol. i. pp. 429-433.) His place as orator before the $BK Society 
was taken in 1810 by William Allen ; in 1815 he gave the oration, taking as his 
subject " The Aborigines." — Eds. 


insensibly filled a sheet. My heart always leads me to be diffuse when 
in the presence of those I love. This effect is one which you have often 
experienced. I rely therefore confidently on your indulgence. When 
thus ideally present with you I say more than perhaps the occasion 
demands. I will now only add that I am, with undiminished sentiments 
of esteem and affection, your grateful friend. 

Anna C. Lowell. 

Mr. Franklin B. Sanborn communicated from the archives 
of the Society a letter from Captain Nathaniel Folsom, de- 
scriptive of the fighting near Lake George, September 8, 1755, 
and said : — 

In presenting to the Society in February a sketch of the 
life of President Langdon of Harvard College, I made allu- 
sion to an important letter of General Folsom, of Exeter, 
New Hampshire (to give him his latest title), written to Dr. 
Langdon in 175G, and giving the details of a desperate fight 
in the woods near Lake George, in the year preceding, of 
which no exact account has ever got into print, so far as I 
know. As the letter remains in the archives of this Society, 
it seemed desirable to publish it for the information of future 
historians, and also because of its own racy style, and the 
illustration which it gives, both of the jealousies entertained by 
the soldiers of one Province toward those of another, and of 
the spirit with which the New Hampshire soldiers habitually 
engaged in battle, in whatever war they might chance to take 
part. Vaughan at the siege of Louisbourg, Folsom and Stark 
and Rogers fighting Indians in the forest, Stark at Bunker 
Hill and Bennington, Sullivan at Trenton, Cilley at Saratoga, 
Scammell at Yorktown, Miller at Lundy's Lane, and the New 
Hampshire colonels generally in the Civil War, seem to 
have been animated by a common sentiment, — a strong wish 
to get at the enemy and never to retreat. In this particular 
skirmish Captain Folsom and his men had very little knowl- 
edge of how many or where their foemen were, but supposed 
their business was to go at them and drive them from the 
field. They fought exactly as the poet suggests, — 

A battle whose full aim and scope 

They little cared to know ; 
Content — true men at arms — to cope 

Each with his fronting foe. 


The death of the New York captain, McGennis, from his 
wounds seems to have prevented him from reporting his part 
of the fight ; and perhaps the wound of Sir William Johnson 
may have made him unfit to receive Captain Folsom's report, 
which he therefore rendered in full, six months after, to his 
neighbor, Parson Langdon of Portsmouth. I fancy that the 
latter went to Exeter to exchange with Parson Rogers ; was 
entertained at dinner by Captain Folsom, not averse to fight 
his battles o'er again ; heard the story by word of mouth, as 
Dr. Belknap afterwards did, and persuaded Folsom to write it 
out for use in future sermons. Here it is : 

Exeter, March 27 th , 1756. 

Rev d Sir : As you desired me to give you a short narative of the 
skirmish lately had near Lake George, I have now to inform you that, 
on the 8 th of Sept r , 1755, being at Fort Edward, Col 1 Blanchard order'd 
me to detach a small scout upon discoveries, which I imediately did 
under the command of my lieut { , Jeremiah Oilman. Who marched up 
between Hudson's river & the waggon road that leads to Lake George 
about two miles and a half, where they discoverd one Adams lying by 
the waggon road, dead & scalp'd, & several waggons almost burnt up. 
Upon which discovery they return'd & made report 

Col 1 Blanchard imediately rallied his forces & sent me out with the 
command of fifty men ; with orders to bring in the dead man (Adams) 
& to make what discoveries I could ; whereupon we marchd to the 
spot & found Adams & found also eleven waggons almost consumed. 
I imediately sent a party of twenty men under the command of Lieu 4 
Abbot to scout two miles up towards the lake, whilst I, with the 
remainder, scouted round about the place where the enemy had made 
such destruction. And finding bread & meat & many other things 
scattered about where our enemies had camped the night before, & the 
waggon road being full of moguson tracks, we suppos'd there was a 
great number of French & Indians near us. 

Upon which we tho't it most adviseable to return as soon as we 
could & make report ; but while we were tying up the dead man in 
order to carry him into the fort we heard the discharge of a great gun 
at the lake & soon after the continual report of others. I call'd to- 
gether our officers to advise whether we should go to the assistance of 
our friends at the lake whom we suppos'd to be engaged in battle ; 
upon which officers & souldiers unanimously manifested their willing- 
ness to go. At that instant I was told there was more men coming, 
who were presently with us. They were a company of the York regi- 
ment, who, when detachd at Fort Edward, were commanded by Cap 1 
M c Gennes. 


I told him our army was attack'd at the lake, that we had deter- 
mined to go to their assistance & ask'd him to go with ns. Upon which 
he answer'd that his orders were to come to that spot, make what dis- 
coveries he could, return & make report. I told him that, was my 
orders, but that this being an extraordinary case I was not afraid of 
being blamed by our super 1 officers for helping our friends in distress. 
Whereupon he turn'd & order'd his company to march back again. I 
then told our officers that as our number was so small — but, as it were, 
a handfull — I tho't it most adviseable to return to the fort and add to 
our number & then proceed to the lake. We march'd, soon overtook 
the Yorkers & ran by them a little distance, where we met near fifty 
of our own regiment running towards us. I ask'd, "What tidings?"' 
They said they tho't we had been engag'd & that Col 1 Blanchard had 
sent them to our assistance. 

Whereupon we imediately concluded to go to the lake ; but not hav- 
ing orders therefor, as before hinted, I despatch 'd Lieu 1 Emery with 
some few men with orders to go to the fort and to acquaint Col 1 Blanchard 
with what we had discover'd and of our design to go to the lake. Mean- 
while Cap 1 M c Gennes march'd forward. We followed for about two 
miles but as I tho't they marched too slow & kept out no advance 
guurds (by means of which we might be enclos'd in the ambushments 
of the Canadeans) I propos'd to our New Hampshire men to go by 
them. But one of our officers told me he tho't it not best to go before 
the Yorkers for that he was more afraid of them than of the enemy. 
Upon which I sent Cap 1 M c Gennis's lieu 1 forward to tell him to march 
faster or else to stop & let us go by them. But, he making no return, 
I sent one of our men forward to tell him the same errand & also to 
set out advance guards for fear of ambushments. He return'd me an 
answer that all I required of him he would do. We march'd on till we 
came within half a mile of the place when we began the battle; when 
Capt 1 M c Gennes & company started nine Indians, who run up the 
waggon road from us, upon which Cap 1 M c Gennes & comp y stopt. I, 
seeing them halt (being on a plain), orderd our men to move forward 
& pass by them. As soon as J came up with M c Gennes, I ask'd the 
reason of his stopping which he told was the starting of the Indians. 
I theu mov'd forward & we ran about eighty rods & discoverd a 
Frenchman running from us on the left. Some of us chas'd him about 
a gunshot, fired at him, but, fearing ambushments, we turnd into the 
waggon road again & traveld a few rods, when we discoverd a number 
of French and Indians about two or three gunshots from us, who run 
from us. 

Then we made a loud huzza & followd them up a rising ground and 
then met a large body of French & Indians, on whom we discharg'd our 
guns briskly till we had exchang'd shots about four or five times. 


When I was calPd upon to bring up the Yorkers, (whom I thought had 
been up with us before) but finding them two or three gunshots back, I 
order'd them up to our assistance. And tho' but a small number of 
them came up, we still continued the engagement and soon caught a 
French lieu' & an Indian, who inform'd us that we had engaged up- 
ward of eight hundred & knowing the smallness of our number (being 
in all but one hundred & forty-three men), we fix'd ourselves to fight 
in the best manner we could do; & seing our enemies continually re- 
cruited by fresh hands, not only in their front but on both our wings, 
gave every one of us (that could fight) occasion to exercise and exert 
ourselves. After being closely engaged for about three quarters of an 
hour, they kill'd two of our men & wounded several more on our left 
wing, where they had gain'd a great advantage of us. 

Which, with our being very much tired and fatigued, occasioned us 
to retreat a little way back; but finding that by our retreat we were 
likely to give the enemy a greater advantage we rallied again in order 
to recover the ground we had lost, and thinking that if we quitted the 
ground we should loose our greatest advantage, about fifteen or twenty 
of us ran up the hill at all hazard. Which we had no sooner done but 
the enemy fired upon us vigorously ; & then, seeing us coming upon them 
(we being charg'd & they discharg'd), they run-& gave us the ground. 
Whereupon we all shouted with one voice and were not a little en- 
couraged. In this skirmish Ensign Jonathan Folsom was shot through 
the shoulder & several others wounded. At every second or third dis- 
charge during the engagement we made huzzas as loud as we could but 
not to be compar'd to the yells of our enemies, which seem'd to be 
rather the yellings of devils than of men. 

A little before sunsetting I was told that a party of the Yorkers 
were going to leave us, which surpris'd me. I look'd & saw them in 
the waggon road with packs on their backs. I went to them & asked 
where they were going. They said to Fort Edward. I told them 
they would sacrifice their own lives & ours too. They answer'd they 
would not stay there to be kill'd by the damn'd Indians after dark but 
would go off by daylight. Cap 1 Moore and Lieu 1 Abbot & myself try'd 
to perswade them to tarry, but to no purpose till I told them that the 
minit they attempted to march from us I would order our New Hamp e 
men to discharge upon them. Soon after which they throw'd off their 
packs & we went to our posts again. Upon my return to my tree, 
where I had fought before, I found a neat's tongue (as I tho't) and a 
French loaf, which, happening in so good a season, I gave myself time 
to eat of; & seeing my lieu 1 at a little distance, much tired & beat out, 
I told him if he would venture to come to me, I would give some- 
thing to comfort him. He came to me & told me I was eating a horse's 
tongue. I told him it was so good I tho't he had never eat anything 


better in his life. I presently saw some Yorkers handing about a cagg 
of brandy, which I took part of & distributed amongst the men. Which 
reviv'd us all to that degree that I imagin'd we fought better than ever 
we did before. 

Between sunsett and the shutting in of daylight we call'd to our 
enemies ; told them we had a thousand come to our assistance; that we 
should now have them imediately in our hands ; and thereupon made 
a great shouting & beat our drums. Upon which they drew off upon 
the left wing, but stood it on the front & right wing till daylight was in 
& then retreated & run off. Then we begun to get things ready to 
march to the lake, when Providence sent us three waggon horses upon 
which we carry'd in six wounded men ; made a bier & carry'd one on, 
lead some & carry'd some on our backs. We found six of our men 
kill'd & mortally wounded so that they dyed in a few days, and four- 
teen others wounded & shot through their cloaths, hatts, &c. With 
much difficulty we perswaded the Yorkers to go with us to the lake. 
In about an hour after the battle was over we march'd & sent two men 
forward to discover who were inhabitants at the lake. Who met us 
and told us all was well. Whereupon we march'd into the camp & 
told the army what we had done. As soon as they understood by us 
that we had drove the enemy off & made a cle-ir passage for the Eng- 
lish between forts, the whole army shouted for joy, like the shouting 
of a great host. We carry'd our wounded to Doctor Putnam's tent, 
where by birr they were tenderly drest. Meantime I took a pilot to 
pilot me to Gen 1 Johnson's tent ; but, being much tired & fatigued, I 
was obliged to turn in to Coll 1 Guttridge's tent for refreshment, where 
they told me the gen 1 was wounded ; & it being past midnight, they ad- 
viz'd me to tarry till the morning, which I did, and then waited on the 
gen 1 & told him where we came from, the occasion of our coming, what 
we had done & that we were destitute of all comfortable things, (hav- 
ing left our coats, blankets, &c, at Fort Edward,) and ask'd leave to re- 
turn again to Fort Edward. The gen 1 kindly told me that such as the 
camp afforded we should have but no liberty to return till the next 
Wednesday. But on Tuesday morning the Mohocks (having heard 
over night that we had left a great quantity of packs, plunder, &c, upon 
the spot where we fought,) started very early to go & get it. Which 
we imagining when we saw them run off, made our English blood boil, 
seing we could not have liberty to go ourselves. However, we were 
obliged to be easy with a promise of having our parts (which we never 
got to this day). In about three hours afterwards the Mohocks re- 
turn'd with as much plunder as they could carry on their backs. 

On Wednesday we march'd to Fort Edward with orders for Coll 1 
Blanchard to march his regiment on Thursday to Lake George. We 
got to the fort a little after sunsett with the joyful news of Lake 



George being in possession of King George ; and were receiv'd as joy- 
fully as tho' we had arisen from the dead. On Thursday we march'd 
with the rest of our regiment from Fort Edward to Lake George, 
where we arived a little after sunsett & joyn'd the army. In this fight 
which began about four of the clock afternoon and ended with the day- 
light, it was generally thought we kill'd & mortally wounded upward 
of an hundred Frenchmen and Indians. 

Thus, sir, I have given you a narative, as my memory furnishes me, 
of most of the facts (worthy your notice) in the aforesaid engagement. 
In perusing of which, if you receive any satisfaction it will compleatly 
recompence me for the trouble and pains taken therein by 

Your most hble serv* 
To the R E v d M> Langdon, NATHANIEL FOLSOM. 

In Portsmouth. 

It is odd that this account of the final fight with Baron 
Dieskau's attacking army, — the most detailed one ever 
written, I suppose, — though in existence nearly a century 
and a half, has never been used by any historian who has 
described that eventful 8th of September. Dr. Belknap, in 
his History of New Hampshire, though he gives the general 
facts correctly, from " Folsom's information " as his footnote 
says, had apparently never seen this naive account, with all 
the detail of Herodotus portraying a Greek skirmish. Sir 
William Johnson, the chief commander of the army, gave both 
the hour of the fight and the number engaged incorrectly. 
Other historians have erred more. The commander of the 
scouting party that fought so gallant a battle, the third engage- 
ment on that day, was not William McGennis, captain of 
a Schenectady company under Johnson, as most of the histo- 
rians say ; but was Nathaniel Folsom, captain of an Exeter 
company in Colonel Joseph Blanchard's New Hampshire 
regiment, who was afterwards a Revolutionary general and 
a member of the first Continental Congress. He was Exeter- 
born (in 1727) and died at his native town in 1790. He raised 
the company he commanded ; his own son was the clerk, and 
three other Folsoms were in it, one of them his ensign. Three 
Gilmans and two Sanborns were also in it. 

To explain the topographic situation, I may say that General 
Phineas Lyman (in command of the New England forces, 
under Sir William Johnson, and in chief command after the 
wounding of Johnson in the second engagement) had cut 



a wagon-road from Fort Edward, where Colonel Blanchard 
with the New Hampshire troops was in garrison, to Lake 
George, thirteen miles distant, where General Johnson estab- 
lished his camp, without fortifications, and without knowing 
through scouts where the French and Canadians were. He 
even sent his men, under the unfortunate Colonel Williams, 
into an ambush of Indians; just as Braddock's army was 
surprised the year before. Williams was slain, the Colonists 
fell back, and the fight was renewed at the camp itself, 
which Johnson had rudely fortified just before Dieskau made 
his attack. Both sides fought well, and both generals were 
wounded, — Johnson once and slightly, Dieskau repeatedly, 
and almost to death. In the early afternoon the French were 
repulsed and fell back, not pursued by Johnson, whose caution 
then was as great as his rashness had been in the morning. 
What he had feared on the 7th of September, from a report 
of his Mohawk scouts, was an attack upon Colonel Blanchard 
at Fort Edward ; he had sent two expresses the evening of the 
7th, to bid him retire to his fort and await an attack. The 
erroneous account in Mr. Robert O. Bascom's recent book 
entitled " Fort Edward " calls that camp " Fort Lyman " in 
honor of the general who had built it. Bascom says : - — 

" Sunday evening, September 7, 1755, some Indian scouts informed 
Gen. Johnson that the enemy had marched from South Bay towards 
Fort Lyman. There was only 250 of the New Hampshire troops 
there, with five New York companies. A wagoner named Adams vol- 
unteered to ride to Ft. Lyman with the news, and to carry General 
Johnson's orders to Col. Blanchard to retire within the fort. An hour 
after, two Indians and two soldiers set out on the same errand ; by 
midnight, they returned and said they saw the French about four miles 
from Ft. Lyman. They heard the report of a gun, and a man cry out, 
and thought it was Adams." 

So far all is substantially correct. Relying perhaps on 
General Johnson's report, the error now begins. Bascom 
says : — 

"About 8 o'clock on the evening of the 8th, 120 men from New 
Hampshire and 90 from New York, set out from Ft. Lyman to rein- 
force Gen. Johnson. This party was under the commaud of Captain 
McGuinnes. A severe engagement ensued, the French being finally 
driven from the field. McGuinnes, being an Indian officer, lost his 


Captain Folsom shows that the movement of his forces 
occupied nearly the whole day ; that he, and not McGennis, 
was in command, and that the fight was over by eight in the 
evening. Mr. Bascom had never seen or heard of this letter. 
A more exact account, mistaken at some points, is that printed 
in Boston, September 29, three weeks after the fight, appar- 
ently based on information sent by Dr. Thomas Williams, 
a surgeon in the army, and reading thus in relating this 
affair : — 

(i The General on the 7th despatched two expresses that evening to 
Col. Blanchard. Mr. Adams, the first express, was killed by the enemy 
in going to the fort, and Gen. Johnson's letter, sent by him to Col. 
Blanchard, was found in the French aide-de Camp's pocket, the next 
day. . . . The third engagement was occasioned thus : — Col. Blanchard 
detached to the assistance of his friends between two and three hundred 
men : mostly from our state, and some New Yorkers, under the com- 
mand of Capt. M'Ginnis. Between four and five o'clock they reached 
the place where Col. Williams had been attacked in the morning, and 
there they found about 1500 of the enemy, chiefly Indians, who had fled 
from the former battle, and were come hither to refresh themselves, 
scalp our dead, take their packs, and get off. Our men fell upon them 
with the greatest fury, made prisoners of some, killed a great many, and 
entirely routed them ; driving them off the ground, and recovering more 
of their packs than they could carry with them to the Camp. This 
engagement was begun near the place where the French had encamped 
the night before, and where they had left their baggage. Accordingly, 
being thus driven off, our people the next day brought in four or five 
wagon-loads of ammunition, provisions, blankets, etc. . . . Their flight 
was so hasty, and so much in a fright, that as they fled they dropt their 
blankets, bread, and even some of the scalps of our men. We lost but 
few men in this fight. Gen. Johnson says two were killed, eleven 
wounded and five missing. Among the wounded is Capt. McGinnis, 
who behaved with prudence and valor. He is since dead of his wounds. 
The account we have received is that we slew near 100 of them." 

With this account before him the reader can better under- 
stand Captain Folsom's story, with its curious details of a 
fight in the forest, where each man took to his tree, and had 
time between shootings to lunch on horse's tongue and a sip of 
brandy, with which the " Yorkers " seem to have been better 
supplied than the Hampshire men. This little force of Fol- 
som's had no knowledge of the defeat of the morning or the 


victory of the afternoon. They only knew that their friends 
were in battle and needed help and they were determined to 
go to their aid. No doubt the death of McGennis from his 
wounds prevented him from reporting his share in the fight, 
which seems to have been more satisfactory than that of 
his men from Schenectady, a detachment of whom needed the 
threat of Folsom to fire upon them, to keep them in the con- 
test after dark. The anger of New Hampshire soldiers, not 
permitted to get a share of the French plunder till the second 
day after their victory, is significant. General Johnson in 
detaining them probably wished to gather in the ammunition 
and supplies for the use of the whole army ; his Mohawks were 
allowed to plunder a little in recompense for having lost their 
chief "King Hendrick" in the first encounter. When Dr. 
Langdon was President of Harvard, twenty years later, he 
records in the books of the College that " the Indian Cap and 
Moggisons of Hendrick" who was killed in the battle at 
Lake George, had just been received as a gift to the College, 
where possibly they are still preserved. 

Mr. Albert B. Hart communicated a number of unpub- 
lished historical documents, which had been in his possession 
for about two years, coming to him through the Committee 
on Documents which made an attempt to collect fugitive mate- 
rials for history for the Society's archives. They are as 
follows : a letter from Alpha Thorpe, dated Austinburg, 
October 5, 1812, to Lieut. David Belden, Southfield, Berk- 
shire, Mass., giving an account of the state of affairs at the 
West after the surrender of Detroit ; an orderly book kept 
during the Revolution beginning at Morristown May 25, 1780, 
and ending at Peekskill August 1 ; a translation made by 
Francis Sales, in 1802, of a great mass of official documents 
relating to the detention on the west coast of South America 
of the American brig " Mars," of Nantucket, suspected by the 
Spanish authorities of illicit trading ; copy of an unsigned 
letter from Edward Everett, dated Charlestown, Jan. 4, 1836, 
believed to have been written to Caleb Gushing, at that time 
a member of Congress from Massachusetts, with reference to 
the Presidential election of that year ; and the copy of a 
letter marked private from Daniel Webster to Thomas B. 
Curtis, of Boston, dated March 12, 1843, relating to the mis- 


sion to China, afterward given to Mr. dishing, in which Mr. 
Webster writes : " I regard the English mission, or any other 
mission, as subordinate to the situation which I now hold. 
If I were to remain in the public service, I should prefer to 
remain where I am. The only reluctance I had in recom- 
mending Mr. Everett was the difficulty I felt in filling his 
place in London. For myself, nothing could induce me to go 
abroad, at my age and without fortune, but a much clearer 
prospect of accomplishing great good than I am now able to 
see. My expectation is, truly, to be very shortly in the midst 
of the circles of private life." 

Dr. Samuel A. Green read the following paper : — 

The Historical Library has among its manuscripts the 
records of " a Society for compiling a Magazine in the town of 
Boston," of which the membership was limited to a number 
not less than seven, nor more than twenty-one persons. At 
the start the association consisted of twelve members, and 
their first meeting was held on November 25, 1783, when 
officers were duly chosen. Of these twelve original mem- 
bers six at a later period became members of the Historical 
Society ; and from time to time new members were chosen, 
generally after a nomination at the preceding meeting. In 
this way seven names were added to the original list of twelve ; 
and of the total number of nineteen members eight afterward 
belonged to the Historical Society, namely: — John Eliot, 
James Freeman, George R. Minot, Aaron Dexter, John Clarke, 
John Bradford, Benjamin Lincoln, and Christopher Gore. Of 
the ten original members of the Historical Society, three were 
original members of the Society for compiling a Magazine, 
namely: — Messrs. Eliot, Freeman, and Minot. 

These men were all persons of historical tastes and instincts, 
as is shown by the fact that one of the objects of the Magazine 
Society w T as to publish a Gazetteer of Massachusetts, giving a 
sketch of every town in the Commonwealth. 

The main object of the organization was to publish a 
periodical, which afterward became known as " The Boston 
Magazine." This publication was issued by " Norman & 
White at their office in Marshall's Lane, near the Boston 
Stone " ; and the first regular number appeared in November, 

1904.] "THE BOSTON MAGAZINE." 327 

1783, though there had been an earlier one in October, which 
the publishers in their Preface requested should " not be 
ranked among the numbers of the Boston Magazine: And 
shall take the liberty of calling the Magazine for November, 
the first number." In their Preface to this October issue the 
publishers add: — "We may say, with a degree of certainty, 
(as we are promised the assistance of a number of gentlemen 
of genius and education) that the following Numbers will 
excel this." This allusion is to the Society now under consid- 
eration. The record book runs from November 25, 1783, to May 
13, 1785, though there are memoranda elsewhere which show 
that meetings were held as late as the following November. 
Ordinarily the Society met once a fortnight, though some- 
times at longer or shorter intervals according to circumstances. 
At these meetings the various papers offered for publication 
in the Magazine were considered, when judgment was passed 
upon them. 

It is an interesting fact to note that among the earliest pub- 
lications of the Historical Society there is printed an account 
of the celebration of the tercentenary of the Discovery of 
America, when an address was delivered by Dr. Belknap, on 
October 23, 1792 ; and in the first volume of " The Boston 
Magazine " (pp. 280-285) there is an essay by Dr. Belknap, 
on the subject u Has the discovery of America been useful or 
hurtful to mankind?" The copy of the bound Magazine 
given to the Library, on April 9, 1791, by the Rev. Dr. James 
Freeman, has in his own handwriting at the end of some of 
the articles the names of the respective authors ; and the 
essay in question is signed " R. J. Belknap" (Rev. Jeremy 
Belknap). This circumstance, though trifling in itself, shows 
what was running in the author's mind at that early period 
of his literary life, and to what subjects he was then paying 

Another coincidence in the publication of the Magazine is the 
fact that for a while it was the organ of a body of men whose 
writings appeared first in its pages ; and later, the same fact 
may be noted in connection with the earlier articles by mem- 
bers of the Historical Society, which appeared first in u The 
American Apollo." It shows, too, how in two instances dur- 
ing the latter part of the eighteenth century the papers of 
literary societies appeared in periodical publications ; and, 


furthermore, the two magazines continued for a while after 
the Societies respectively withdrew their support. 

An interesting feature of " The Boston Magazine " was the 
printing of a " Geographical Gazetteer of Massachusetts," 
which came out as a serial number at the end of certain issues. 
Usually it consisted of eight pages, but in one instance of six- 
teen pages. In this supplement an account of twenty-one 
towns in Suffolk County is given, comprising the whole of the 
County as then constituted, besides an unfinished description 
of Charlestown in Middlesex County. Beginning with the 
number for October, 1784, and ending with that for November 
of the next year, ninety-six pages were thus printed, though 
the last page is numbered ninety-eight by mistake. 

These separate issues were carefully collected by Dr. Free- 
man, and together with a manuscript completion of the sketch 
of Charlestown and a titlepage, both by himself, were bound, 
and given by him to this Library among its earliest accessions. 
At the end of some of the articles he has added the authorship, 
as follows: Boston, Dr. John Warren, Colonel Dawes, Rev. 
John Clarke, and Rev. James Freeman; Chelsea, Rev. Phillips 
Payson ; Dorchester, Rev. Moses Everett; Weymouth, Dr. 
Cotton Tufts; Hingham, General Lincoln; Hull, General 
Lincoln; Walpole, Major Seth Ballard; and Charlestown, Dr. 
Josiah Bartlett. Naturally sets of the Gazetteer are now ex- 
tremely rare, and the number of copies in existence could be 
counted, probably, on the fingers of one hand. 

I have described in some detail this a Society for com- 
piling a Magazine," as in a certain sense it was the parent or 
forerunner of the Historical Society. A considerable portion 
of its membership at a later period became founders or early 
members of this Society ; and it is evident that in their work 
they were animated b}^ the true spirit of historical inquiry. 
Another line of parallelism between the two is the fact that 
both bodies started with a limited membership. In the " Pro- 
posals" issued by the publishers of the Magazine, it is said that 
" Several gentlemen have engaged to arrange the materials 
which shall be sent them," — evidently referring to the mem- 
bers of the " Society for compiling a Magazine " ; and the 
publishers also set forth the need and importance of full de- 
scriptions of the various towns in the Commonwealth and in 
the District of Maine. 

1904.] "THE BOSTON MAGAZINE." 329 

In the earlier volumes of the Historical Collections similar 
descriptions of towns are given ; and Ebenezer Pemberton, 
who wrote an historical account of Boston which appears in 
Volume III., refers to the sketch printed in the Geographi- 
cal Gazetteer as a supplement to "The Boston Magazine," and 
evidently used it in the preparation of his own paper. These 
several circumstances all go to show that there was a cer- 
tain continuity of tradition in the minds of men who at that 
period were cultivating a taste for historical research, and who 
also had a desire to interest the public in their work. A con- 
nection between the Society and the Magazine was kept up 
for nearly two years, when, on October 28, 1785, the Society 
voted to withdraw entirely from the publication ; and then 
the union was dissolved. 

The publishers of the first three numbers (November, 1783, 
to January, 1784), were Norman & White, but in February the 
firm name was changed to Norman, White & Freeman, and 
under this style they continued as publishers for the next five 
numbers (February to June inclusive); and in July, 1784, 
they were followed by Greenleaf & Freeman, when Norman's 
name drops out of the firm. The volume is fully illustrated 
with copperplate engravings, made by Norman, who had been 
one of the publishers. In the number of u The Boston Gazette, 
and the Country Journal," February 14, 1785, appear two 
advertisements, one by the publishers and the other by the 
engraver, in which there is much recrimination in regard to 
their former business relations. At that period John Norman 
was a well-known engraver who did creditable work in his 
special line, as shown by various illustrated books. He was 
the publisher of the first Boston Directory, printed in the year 
1789, though his own name does not appear in the body of 
the work ; but it is given in the Directory for 1796, which 
was the second issue of that publication. 

In Number V. of " An Impartial History of the War 
between Great Britain and the United States" (Boston, 
1782), facing page 257, is a " Plan of the Town of Boston," 
which was engraved and signed by Norman. Substantially 
the same map appears in the October number (1784) of " The 
Boston Magazine," with some slight changes, though not 
signed; and it also appears in the Boston Directory for 1789, 
with other variations, again not signed. The engraver, prob- 

t 42 


ably, was a son of John and Martha (Shaw) Norman, but 
little is known concerning his early life. It may be worthy 
of note that these three engraved maps by him are all based 
on Captain John Bonner's Map of Boston, published in 1722. 
Even William Price's Map, as published in 1739, 1743, and 
1769, was struck from the same plate as Bonner's, though 
there were many changes in order to make it conform to the 
new dates respectively. 

The " New-England Palladium & Commercial Advertiser " 
(Boston), Tuesday, June 10, 1817, has the following notice of 
his death : — 

On Sunday evening [June 8], Mr. John Norman, aged 62 [69] — 
Funeral this afternoon, at 4 o'clock, from his house, Cross-street, friends 
and relatives are requested to attend without a further invitation. 

In the several " Death " notices, as given by the Boston 
newspapers, there is a disagreement in regard to his age, some 
of them saying that he was sixty-nine years old at the time, 
and others that he was sixty-two years, but the records in the 
City Registrar's office show that his age was then sixty-nine. 
He died of u slow fever," and was buried in Copp's-Hill Bury- 
ing Ground. The given name of his widow was Alice. 

The President said:— - 

At our February meeting reference was made to the 
congressional status at that time of the Memorial recently 
presented by the Council in the matter of the frigate Con- 
stitution. 1 The session has now closed, and it is with no 
small degree of regret I have to report that our effort 
proved futile. No provision of the nature of that asked for 
was made. I can, however, with confidence assert that this 
result was not due to lack of interest, or failure persistently 
to press the matter upon the favorable notice of those in 
authority at Washington in whose hands the decision rested. 
Indeed no stone was left unturned. The miscarriage seems 
to have been due to Mr. Foss, Chairman of the House Naval 
Committee. Of New England descent, having been born in 

i Ante, pp. 189-192. See also 2 Proceedings, vol. xi. pp. 198-200, 210, 211; 
vol. xv. p. 493 ; and ante, pp. 60, 118-123. 


Berkshire, Franklin County, Vermont, in 1863, Mr. Foss is 
a graduate of Harvard College in the Class of 1885. Subse- 
quently receiving degrees from the Columbia Law School, and 
School of Political Science, in New York, since 1889 he has 
been in the practice of law in Chicago ; and, in 1894, was 
elected a member of the Fifty-fourth Congress. The present, 
or Fifty-eighth, is therefore the fifth successive Congress in 
which he has held a seat; and he now represents the Tenth 
Illinois District, mainly composed of the northernmost wards 
of Chicago. An influential member throughout his congres- 
sional service, Mr. Foss has been actively interested in naval 
affairs, and a leading factor in the recent reorganization of the 
service, and the substitution of ironclads for earlier vessels. 

The movement for the rehabilitation of the Constitution 
failed in its final stage, and on the threshold of success. As 
the result of numerous interviews and prolonged correspond- 
ence, the aid of all the persons whose co-operation was 
necessary, or deemed important, had been secured with the 
single exception — a very important one, as it proved — of 
Mr. Foss. The President and Secretary Moody were greatly 
interested ; as also were our two associates, Senators Hoar 
and Lodge. Ex-Governor John D. Long, fresh from the 
Navy Department, not only wrote to the individual members 
of the Naval Committee and the Conference Committee on 
the part of the House, but, chancing to pass through Wash- 
ington, saw certain of them personally. He also put the 
representatives of the Society in communication with Frank 
W. Hackett, who had been, with a single intermediate, Assist- 
ant Secretary of the Navy in succession to Mr., now President, 
Roosevelt. Mr. Hackett felt an eager sentimental interest in 
the Constitution, and at once expressed himself as ready to 
do anything in his power for her preservation. Our associate 
Edward Everett Hale also was on the ground, as Chaplain of 
the Senate, and equally interested. Towards the end of 
February Secretary Moody chanced to be in Boston, and did 
me the favor to call upon me in relation to the matter. The 
members of the Senate Naval Committee who were later upon 
the Conference Committee had been strong and outspoken in 
their advocacy. Through their efforts an item was inserted 
in the Naval Appropriation Bill, when before the Senate for 
consideration, providing $ 100,000 for the reconstruction of the 


Constitution. It passed without objection. So much was 
secured. The item had been made part of the bill ; it only 
remained to keep it there. 

There seemed good reason to hope that it could be kept 
there. The President favored it ; the past and the present 
Secretaries of the Navy united in favoring it ; the Senate 
Committee favored it, and the Senate had adopted it. Our 
associate Senator Lodge exerted himself, as naturally he 
would, personally calling on the House Conferees. More- 
over the Chicago Historical Society took the matter up ? 
adopting the following memorial in aid, besides through its 
officials personally corresponding with Mr. Foss : — 

To the Senators and Representatives from Illinois : 

The members of the Chicago Historical Society hereby strongly 
indorse the movement for the preservation of the U. S. frigate Con- 
stitution now lying at the Navy Yard at Charlestown, Massa- 
chusetts, — a war vessel around which cluster many memories of the 
early days of the Republic — the vessel which, by its destruction of 
the British war ship " Guerriere," gave to the War of 1812 its first 
victory, and encouraged the Nation to renewed and ultimately success- 
ful efforts, after the early and discouraging events of the war. 

The Society urges that the Members of Congress from Illinois favor 
the appropriation added by the Senate to the Naval Appropriation Bill 
for the repair or rebuilding of the famous Frigate, that it may be an 
object lesson, showing what in 1812 was considered a well-equipped 
vessel of war, thus illustrating the marvellous progress which steam 
and steel have wrought in naval architecture in a single century. The 
frigate Constitution, so long as she is afloat, will serve to recall a 
naval victory which, small in itself when won, was the foundation of 
the maritime power of the Nation. 

Franklin H. Head, Acting President. 

Joseph T. Bowen, 

William A. Fuller, 

Charles F. Gunther, 

S. H. Kerfoot, Jr., 

George Merryweather, 

Otto L. Schmidt, 

Members of the 

Executive Committee. 

Under these circumstances, I confess to having indulged to 
the last moment in a hope that the Senate appropriation 
would be accepted by the Conference Committee. I was mis- 


taken. Mr. Foss proved obdurate; and the Senate conferees, 
it would seem, yielded to him. From the bill as finally re- 
ported from conference, the item on behalf of the Constitu- 
tion had been stricken out. 

In the course he thus took Mr. Foss was unquestionably 
actuated by motives wholly creditable in a way. In a time 
of unexampled extravagance and waste he insisted on what 
was undeniably a measure of economy. The item was stricken 
from the bill on the express ground that such an expenditure 
was not a proper use to be made of public money. In other 
words, in the traditions of a reconstructed navy there was 
no place for sentiment, — no recollection of past service 
rendered, or glories won. It was a case of money's worth ; 
and sentiment and gratitude have no money value. 

With that conclusion not only this Society, but all the 
many thousands interested in the preservation of the fighting 
frigate of 1812, must, for the present in any event, rest satis- 
fied. It is not incumbent upon us, nor would it be proper, to 
venture criticism ; although certainly there were appropria- 
tions of the last Congress more open to objection than that to 
restore the Constitution. This fact, however, it would be 
useless as well as unbecoming to emphasize by illustration. 
Fortunately a hope may still be entertained that some suc- 
ceeding Congress will take a view more in consonance with 
what the members of this Society confidently believe is, as 
Mr. Foss expressed it in a letter on the subject, " the will of 
the people " in this matter. 

Informal remarks were made during the meeting by Rev. 
Drs. Edmund F. Slafter and Edward E. Hale and by 
Mr. John Noble. 

A new serial of the Proceedings containing the records of 
the February, March, and April meetings was ready for 



The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 9th instant, 
at half-past twelve o'clock, p. m. ; the President in the chair. 

The record of the May meeting was read and approved, and 
the regular monthly reports were presented. 

Professor Adolf Harnack, of Berlin, was elected an Honor- 
ary Member ; and Mr. Charles H. Dalton, of Boston, was 
elected a Resident Member. 

Voted, That the stated meetings for July, August, and Sep- 
tember be omitted, the President and Corresponding Secretary 
to have power to call a special meeting if necessary. 

Rev. Dr. Edward E. Hale said : — 

The Society would be interested in knowing what effort had 
been made in Washington for the preservation of the frigate 
" Constitution." He was sorry to say that nothing definite 
had been done. It was impossible for him to say what had 
passed in committee rooms, but his impression was that the 
enthusiasm of the Committees had to be quickened by our 
Massachusetts Representatives. The Society's Memorial was 
presented by Senator Hoar on the 29th of January, 1904. It 
was printed in the Congressional Record for that day. 

On" the 16th day of March Mr. McNary, the member of the 
House for the Northern Boston District, introduced a bill 
which provides for the preservation of the " Constitution " at 
Castle Island as a museum. This was referred to the Com- 
mittee on Naval Affairs. But they made no report on this 
subject in the session, which was an unusually short one. 

The Navy Department was not very favorable to our wish. 
It was stated there that the restoration of the " Constitution " 
would require virtually the building of a new ship. And it is 
a sad thing to sa}^ that with the advance of the century it costs 
a great deal more to build a wooden ship than it cost when the 
u Constitution " was built and launched at Hart's Wharf. 

The naval gentlemen however supposed that for a less sum 


she could be put into such repair as would keep her afloat in 
the harbor of Boston. The suggestion was made to the Com- 
mittee to appropriate a sufficient sum in the Naval Appropria- 
tion Bill for that purpose. 

It is but justice to the classical attainments of the House and 
Senate and of the Navy Department to say that everybody 
seemed to remember Plato's celebrated remark regarding the 
preservation of the Idea of the " Minotaur," although every 
bolt and even every splinter of the original vessel were gone. 
One of our admirals told Dr. Hale that when he himself was 
a midshipman one of the jests of the young gentlemen at An- 
napolis was the annual dance around a particular bolt which 
tradition said was in the ship the day she fought " La Guerriere." 
But it was suggested in the Navy that at the present moment 
there is neither chip nor bolt remaining in the vessel which 
witnessed the celebrated battle. 

Dr. Hale congratulated the Society, and all persons inter- 
ested in American history, on what might almost be called the 
creation of a Manuscript Department in the Congressional 
Library. He read some passages from letters of Mr. Putnam, 
and from our associate Mr. Worthington Ford on the progress 
which has been made, especially in the department of 
American History. 

From times almost traditional each department at Washing- 
ton has kept the custody of its own papers. Sometimes, 
when an officer was retained in a department for fifty years, 
he lived into a feeling that the documents were his own and 
that no one else could examine them. More often, perhaps, in 
the frequent changes of administration, nobody really knew 
what was among the papers, or indeed where they were. A 
certain convenient superstition existed, which led the junior 
clerks to say that they believed this or that document was 
destroyed "when the British burned Washington." Dr. Hale 
expressed his belief that no important documents in either 
department were destroyed at that time. Other gentlemen 
present confirmed this impression. 

One of our members who is not able to be present gave to 
Dr. Hale the following memoranda which state precisely the 
advantages of the present new arrangement of these national 
documents : — 


We, who know the value of manuscripts, have been obliged 
again and again to recognize the utter hopelessness of awaken- 
ing in an officially constituted mind any enthusiasm on the 
subject. The Departments are full of the richest material 
buried beyond the reach of the public, merely because some 
nine-hundred-dollar clerk has been in charge for half a century 
and has come to look upon them as private property. We 
now have a Librarian who knows that this material is good 
historical material, that it belongs to the public and should 
be open to the public, and is willing to make an effort and 
even sacrifices to secure supplementary material from private 
collections. One who has worked under him cannot but feel 
this influence for good, and something ought to be said of it in 
any account of the manuscript materials of the Library as they 
now are, and as they are sure to be in the near future, — the 
one great mine of history to be worked by the increasing 
number of serious students of history. 

The memoranda from Washington show that since 1900, 
when the new arrangements of Mr. Putnam began, the collec- 
tions have been large in number and important in character. 
The Letter-books of Robert Morris, Superintendent of Fi- 
nance in the Revolution, were purchased in 1901. They 
comprise his Diary, the Letter-books of the Department of 
Finance from 1781 to 1784, and his private Letter-books from 
1784 to 1798. The entire collection comprises fifteen folio vol- 
umes, and contains transcripts of more than eight thousand 
letters. One of the members of this Society contributed to 
the collections of the Library a famous manuscript, being no 
less than a Columbus Codex, or a transcript of the documents 
and agreements on which Columbus made his fourth voyage 
to America. 

In the next year, 1902, were obtained the papers of Salmon 
Portland Chase, a collection well known to the members of 
this Society. The more valuable of these papers have since 
been published by the American Historical Society, and cer- 
tainly constitute a positive addition to the history of the late 
Civil War. The Barry and Porter naval papers were supple- 
mented, in 1903, by the papers of Commodore Edward Preble 
in twelve volumes. It has been stated that a number of 
the Preble papers are in the collections of this Society, but 


a recent inquiry brings the information that they cannot be 

The year 1903 was of sufficient moment in the experience 
of the Manuscripts Division to warrant extended notice. It 
was marked by a notable gift by the members of the family of 
Montgomery Blair, comprising the collection of papers and 
manuscripts, official and personal, of Andrew Jackson, — a 
collection that is especially rich on the military history of 
the Middle West during the Indian incursions, the War of 
1812 and the subsequent events which led up to the Seminole 
campaign, — a campaign which threatened to be the unmaking 
of Jackson and yet, in the end, proved a very strong plea for 
making him President. In its later features the collection is 
very full on such matters as the differences in Jackson's 
Cabinet over social troubles, and the Removal of the Deposits. 
It also pictures Jackson in retirement, when he played so 
effectively the part of the political seer, resorted to by all who 
harbored political ambitions, for endorsement, or a word of 
warning and advice. The collection is a very large one, and 
has yet to be carefully studied to develop its historical wealth, 
covering a period of interest in national administration dur- 
ing which partisan feeling ran so high that it is still a question 
whether Jackson's influence and action was, on the whole, 
wholesome or otherwise. 

A large collection of Daniel Webster's papers was obtained 
by purchase, being those which were selected by the biog- 
rapher of Webster, and therefore representing a very choice 
collection. A third series of collections came by the transfer 
of certain historical collections from the Department of State. 
These collections have long been known to historical students, 
and were obtained at various times by purchase, or deposit in 
the Department of State because there was no other place 
quite so suitable for their preservation. A mere list of the 
collections will show their worth, for there are included the 
papers of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Hamilton, 
and Franklin ; but, chief of all, the papers of the Continental 
Congress. The President's strong interest in historical mat- 
ters induced him to issue an executive order transferring these 
documents after consultation with the officials of the Depart- 
ment of State. It seemed to be generally recognized that the 
Library of Congress should be the keeper of such collections, 



where the historical interest is so much greater than any 
administrative features which might attach to the papers. A 
foundation is thus laid for making the Library what it should 
be, the great centre of historical research and the great 
depository of historical manuscripts. 

In the last year the collections have grown with almost 
accelerated pace. The papers of Martin Van Buren came by 
gift, as did those of Chancellor Kent. The papers of James 
K. Polk were purchased, as were those of John M. Clayton. 
A little consideration will thus show how strong the collections 
of the Library of Congress are in certain directions. For the 
military and civil history of the Revolution no other records can 
begin to compare with them in important documents; for 
they begin with the petition to the king and " the association " 
entered into by the Continental Congress of 1774, and carry 
the record through the doings of the subsequent Congresses, 
the campaign of Washington, the period of the Confederation, 
and the formation and acceptance of the Constitution. Of 
what might be called the Virginia regime, the collection is un- 
rivalled ; for it includes the papers of Washington, Jefferson, 
Madison, and Monroe, the four Presidents given to the country 
by Virginia, the mother of Presidents. A break is then made 
covering the administration of John Quincy Adams, but the 
story is again taken up by the papers of the inheritors of the 
Virginia doctrines, Jackson, Van Buren, and Polk. 

I have named only the larger collections. There are many 
smaller collections of high interest in themselves and supple- 
menting those I have specifically named. There is hardly a 
period of American history on which something cannot be 
found that is essential to its comprehension. One reason for 
this rapid growth of the Manuscript collection is to be found 
in the notable precautions taken for the preservation of the 
papers. A large gallery of the Library has been specially 
equipped with glass cases and steel safes, which are under 
watch by night as well as by day. The treatment given to 
manuscripts is also peculiar. It involves the repair of every 
injury of the past and every precaution against injury in the 
future. Paper that is so rotten as to fall to pieces at the 
touch is covered with fine cloths which make it stronger than 
the original paper could be. Every hole is filled, and the 
requirements of each document are specially studied so as to 


place it beyond danger of injury. When they are thus re- 
paired they are mounted on linen hinges and substantially 
bound, after which they are made accessible to the public. 
A visit to the Manuscripts Division is an object lesson in the 
handling of manuscript material ; for no other institution de- 
votes so much time and expense to such matters. 

To illustrate the broad principles recognized in the conduct 
of the Library of Congress I may mention an incident which 
has not become generally known. In the Library was a 
manuscript containing the only known record of the con- 
ventions held in the first years of the Revolution in the 
territory which afterwards became the State of Vermont. 
This record had been transcribed, perhaps for his personal 
use, by the clerk of the convention, Dr. Jonas Fay, and was 
retained by him among his private effects. The book in which 
the transcription was made was used by him as a record of his 
medical fees during his lifetime, and after his death continued 
in the family to be used for various purposes, such as a scrap 
book, and a record of farm accounts. It is very well known 
by all investigators that through carelessness or worse faults 
many of the records properly State and local have passed into 
private collections. There is hardly a State which has not 
suffered by loss and depredation, and frequently records that 
are vital to the understanding of local history have become 
located in places where they are as good as buried, and in fact 
the very memory of their existence has passed away. The 
convention records of Vermont were so essential to the history 
of Vermont that although this particular manuscript had never 
been State property or in the keeping of any officer of the 
State, the authorities of the Library believed that it should 
properly be located in Vermont rather than in the Library of 
Congress. On the suggestion of the State authorities a reso- 
lution making the transfer passed both houses of Congress, 
and the transfer was made. Of course there are limits to such 
policy. The liberal policy thus indicated by the Library of 
Congress might well be imitated by other institutions, and we 
may look forward to the time when the investigator may be 
reasonably certain to find in a particular place the manuscript 
material which properly belongs there. So much more atten- 
tion is now paid to the preservation of such material, and the 
historical value is so much better appreciated now than it was 


even a generation ago that we cannot do better than to gather 
up what remains and place it in a position where it will be 
most accessible to students and most useful in the performance 
of functions which belong to manuscript material. 

It will be well if in the future the policy can be accepted 
which shall make the Library of Congress the keeper of the 
manuscript archives of the government, so far as their interest 
is mainly historical. Such is the present policy as initiated so 
fortunately by Dr. Putnam. 

In Dr. Putnam's reports for 1901 at page 335, for 1902 at 
pages 24 and 71, for 1903 at pages 18 and 77, are given very 
valuable details of the accessions made in these years. 

It ought to be said that all the regular publications of library 
reports are very valuable to all students of history. 

Rev. Dr. James De Normandie read a paper entitled 
u Some Notes from an Old Parish Record Book," as follows : — 

The early ministers of the plantations hereabout, as the first 
settlements were called, regarded themselves as self-appointed 
chroniclers of whatever took place in their far-reaching but 
sparsely inhabited parishes. If a house was burned or struck 
by lightning, or a great storm came, or any portent in the 
heavens, or an accident befell a settler, or an epidemic ap- 
peared, or a heresy arose, or a ship arrived or departed ; if 
there was an exceptional season, — as once it is said "not a 
flake of snow fell this winter," — if there was an abundant 
harvest or a threatened famine, the minister made a note of 
it in the parish records, and frequently he was the only one 
to preserve it. 

The toils and privations of establishing these new homes, of 
building the initials of a nation, mark almost every page ; but 
there are notes, too, of the wonderful provision which the 
forests and the waters had for the new-comers, of which a 
writer in 1639 says : — 

" Lobsters be plenty of 20 lb weight." 

"A wild Turkey-Cock is 4 s and weighs 40 lbs — he that is a good 
husband & will be stirring betimes may take half a dozen in a morning." 

"Bass 4 foot long, some bigger, some lesser — a man may catch a 
dozen or twenty of these in three hours of the tide." 

"Pigeons by millions joining nest to nest, and tree to tree> — so 
that the sun never sees the ground." 


The minister picks up interesting local knowledge as he goes 
on his daily -round of visits — for the future historian. 

There was a special reason, in the theology of the day, for 
the minister to make these records ; for the Puritan clergy saw 
God in all things, as did the Hebrew of old, — everything that 
was favorable to him was a providence, and everything that 
hindered him was a judgment. The Puritan's conception of 
the church was another reason for many of the records he 
made. The church was a company of Christians under the 
government of God. Each congregation was to mark the 
separation of the faithful from the sinners ; it consisted of be- 
lievers, of visible saints, and its object was to maintain a high 
standard of purity and holiness among its members. Each 
congregation was a unit, to determine its own rules of faith 
and life. " The Kingdom of God," said the Puritan Robert 
Browne, " was not to be begun by whole parishes, but rather 
of the worthiest, were they never so few." 

When the Independent divines put forth their u Declara- 
tion," its preface says: — 

"From the first, every, or at least the generality of our churches, 
have been in a manner like so many ships (though holding forth the 
same general colours) lancht singly and sailing apart and alone in the 
Vast Ocean of these tumultuating times, and exposed to every wind 
of Doctrine, under no other conduct than the Word and the Spirit, 
and their particular Elders and principal Brethren, without association 
among ourselves, or so much as holding out common lights to others, 
whereby to know where we are." 

No church, or union of churches, had any right or power 
to interfere with the faith or discipline of any other church ; 
so it had to be a jealous custodian of the conduct of its own 
members. There was no disposition to gloss over the faults of 
any one, man or woman, who having once taken hold of the 
covenant had fallen from grace ; so the minister was quite 
ready to put down in black and white, to all generations, so 
long as the record could be read, the spiritual estimates of his 
flock as well as the outward providences and judgments of 

Among all these early books no one is more interesting than 
that of the Apostle Eliot, — no one better preserved, more 
complete, or more constantly sought after for examination. 


But we keep it carefully sealed and hidden from the anti- 
quarian or historian ; for while I have great faith in human 
nature, there are individuals who cannot be implicitly trusted, 
and many a man or woman, well connected and well descended, 
finds the sense of honor grow weak when an opportunity 
comes to cut out slyly the autograph of the Apostle Eliot, or 
one of the Dudleys, or Warren's, or of some ancestor busy 
and prominent in the task of founding this new world. 

These records are so interesting because the man is the 
most interesting figure in the early history of New England. 
There is a flavor of godliness about them because the man 
was full of it. Whenever any marked event happened, he 
would say, " Brethren, let us turn all this into a prayer." In 
homes where he was a familiar and welcome guest he would 
say, " Come, let us not have a visit without prayer ; let us 
pray down the blessing of heaven on your family before we 
go." He was not afraid to warn his people of any appearance 
of worldliness. Finding a merchant in his store with some 
books of business on his table and some books of devotion on 
a shelf, he said, " Sir, here is earth on the table and heaven on 
the shelf ;' pray, don't sit so much at the table as altogether to 
forget the shelf; let not earth by any means thrust heaven out 
of your mind." Mather says he heard him utter these words 
from that scripture " Our conversation is in heaven " : " In the 
morning if we ask where am I to be to-day, our souls must 
answer 4 in heaven.' In the evening if we ask where have 
I been to-day, our souls may answer 'in heaver..' If thou 
art a believer, thou art no stranger to heaven while thou livest, 
and when thou diest heaven will be no stranger to thee, no, 
for thou hast been there a thousand times before." 

Then his interest in education never faltered, so that he la- 
bored and prayed for a good school in every plantation. When 
all the neighboring churches were gathered in Boston to con- 
sider how the miscarriages which were increasing might be pre- 
vented, Eliot exclaimed with great fervor: "Lord, that our 
schools may flourish ; that before we die we may be so happy 
as to see a good school encouraged in every plantation in this 
country." " God so blessed his endeavors," says Mather, " that 
Roxbury could not live quietly without a free school in the 
town, and the issue of it has been one thing, which has made 
one almost put the title of schola illustris upon that little 


nursery, that is, that Roxbury has afforded more scholars first 
for the College, and then for the public than any town of its 
bigness or, if I mistake not, of twice its bigness in all New 
England. From the spring of the school at Roxbury there 
have run a large number of the streams which have made glad 
this whole city of God." It was the grammar school after its 
prototype of Eton and Rugby. 

Then came his enthusiastic, increasing efforts among the 
Indians, which alone were enough for the work of a long busy 
life ; and which put him at the very head of all those who have 
labored in this cause, simply because he believed that the 
Indian was the child of God and to him the gospel should be 

The Records of the Apostle Eliot begin with a receipt for 
making ink. He wanted what he had to say about his parish- 
ioners to stand the test of time ; and after two hundred and 
fifty years these are clearer and brighter than most of our 
writings after twenty-five or fifty years. The agreement about 
our old Latin School in August, 1645, is black, shining, glisten- 
ing, beautifully written on parchment with here and there 
some fine German capitals. 

You read between these lines no formal piety ; only the deep, 
joyous, uninterrupted, bubbling-over life of the spirit. What 
tender yearnings of the godly man over his flock come out in 
such expressions as these : — ■ 

"When six young men did all publickly & by their owne consent 
and desire, take hold on the covenant waiting for more grace." 

" Old Mother Roote, who lived not only till past use, but till more 
tedious than a child." 

" The wife of William Webb. She followed baking, & through her 
covetuous mind she made light weight, after many admonitions, flatly 
denying that after she had weighed her dough she never rimmed off 
bits from each loaf, which yet four witnesses testified to be a common 
if not a practis, for all which grosse sins she was excommunicated. 
But afterwards she was reconciled to the church, & lived Christianly 
& dyed comfortably." 

" Bro. Griggs, who lay in a long affliction of sickness, & shined like 
gold in it." 

" Sister Ruggles — She was a meek & godly Christian, much 
lamented by her neighbors ; but her very disorders were sanctified, & 
so she finished." 


" The Church take notice of six who humbled themselves by public 
confession in the church ; & we have cause to hope that the full pro- 
ceedings of discipline will doe more good than theire sin hath done 

" There was Mrs. Barker whom we found not so well acquainted with 
her own heart, & the ways & workings of God's spirit in converting 
a sinner unto God — & yet full of sweet affection, & we feared a little 
too confident, we received her not without feares & jealousies." 

" Mr. George Alcock — he lived in a good & godly sort, & left a 
good savor behind him." 

" Valentine Prentice — he lived a godly life, & dyed leaving a 
good savor of godlyness behind him." 

"The wife of W m Talmadge. She was a grave matron and a godly 
woman — she dyed & left a gracious savor behind her." 

" William Hills — he removed to Hartford in Conecticott, where he 
lived several years without giving such good satisfaction to the con- 
sciences of the saints." 

" Two brothers Edward & George Dennison, who had been proved 
incendiarys of some troubles among us, & full of distemper & disaffec- 
tion ; the Lord left them to open & shameful drunkenness at Boston ; 
especially Edward, which did so greatly humble them both that though 
George (being a member) was excommunicated, yet in a short time 
was taken in again. And Edward humbling himselfe so effectually that 
he also was speedyly received into the Church — this is the triumph of 
grace, to magnify Grace by sinne." 

"1677 Month 2, about the 10 th Boston was much endangered by a 
chimney going on fire in a very windy day — but the Lord did succeed 
the indeavors of men so that it was quenched. About the middle of 
this month a blazing star appeared in the East." 

" This day we restored our primitive practise for the training up our 
youth. First, our male youth, in fitting season, stay every sabbath 
after the evening service in the Public meeting house, where the Elders 
will examine their remembrance yt day, & any fit poynt of catechise. 
Secondly yt our female youth should meet in one place, where the 
Elders may examine them of theire remembrance yesterday, & about 
catechise, or what else may be convenient." 

" John Moody had two menservants that were ungodly, especially 
one of them ; who in his passion would wish himself in hell, & use des- 
perate words ; yet had a good measure of knowledge. These 2 servants 
would go to the oyster bank, & did against the counsell of their governor, 
where they lay all night ; & in the morning early when the tide was 
out they gathering oysters, did unskillfully leave their boate afloat, & 
the tide quickly carried it away, which made them cry & hollow, till 
water had risen to the armlevls as its thought, & then a man from 



Rocksborough Meeting-house hill, heard them cry and call, & he cryed 
& ran & hastened to them, but they were both drowned — a dreadfull 
example of God's displeasure against obstinat servants." 

" Mary Dumer she was a godly woman, but by seduction of some of 
her acquaintances she was led away into the new opinions of M ns 
Hutchinson's time. Mr. Clark one of the same opinions, unskillfully 
gave her a vomit, yt she dyed in a most uncomfortable manner. But 
we believe God took her away in mercy from worse evil which she was 
falling into, & we doubt not but she is gone to heaven." 

" So soone as we condescended to improve our praying Indians in the 
war, from that day forward we always prospered until God pleased to 
teare the rod in peeces, partly by conquest, partly by their sicknesse 
& death, & hath brought us peace praised be his name. But no 
sooner was this rod broken, presently the North-Eastern wars broke 

" God also drew forth another rod upon our backs in epidemical sick- 
ness which took away many from us. And yet for all this it is the 
frequent complaint of many wise and godly that little reformation is to 
be seene of our chief wrath-provoking sins as pride, covetousnesse, ani- 
mosity, personal neglect of gospelyzing our youth & of gospelizing of 
the Indians. Drinking houses multiplyed, not lessened, Quakers 
openly tolerated." 

The Puritans had hardly escaped from their persecutions 
when they turned all their wrath against the Homilists, 
the adherents of Ann Hutchinson, the Quakers, and the 

John Wilson vociferated from his pulpit, il he would carry 
fire in one hand & faggots in the other to burn all the Quakers 
in the world," and John Higginson "denounced the inner 
light, as a stinking vapour from hell." 

It is astonishing, too, what a bitter animosity reigned against 
the Baptists, the Anabaptists, — or Rebaptisers as they were 
called because the rite of baptism was administered to those 
who joined the new society. They arose in the religious fer- 
ment of the sixteenth century, — the Radicals of the Reforma- 
tion, claiming the Apostolical Succession of the Holy Spirit. 
Some were most devout and godly, some were noisy and 
fanatical, but everywhere great horror was excited against 
them ; but, as in so many instances in history, they flourished 
in persecution and faded in prosperity. Samuel Willard, 
President of Harvard College, declared : " Such a rough thing 
as a New England Baptist is not to be handled over-tenderly." 



In many of our early records, if a season of scarcity pre- 
vailed, or an earthquake visited the settlement, or a great 
storm, or a disastrous fire, or an outbreak of the Indians, 
or a time of unusual disease, or a succession of calamities, 
it was all ascribed to the activity and prosperity of the 

" Henry Bull lived honestly for a good season but on the suddaine 
(being weake and affectionate) he was taken and transported with the 
opinion of familisme [a sect which arose in Holland in the sixteenth 
century which would take the whole race into one Family of Love] 
and running in that sisyme he fell into many and grosse sins of lying 
&c. — for which he was excommunicate." 

" Philip Sherman was of a melancholy temperament, but lived 
honestly & comfortably among us severall years. Upon a just calling 
went to England & returned again with a blessing. But after his 
father-in-law, John Porter was so carried away with these opinions, he 
followed them & removed with them to the island — he behaved him- 
self sinfully & was cast out of the Church." 

" William Chase, he came with the first company 1630. He brought 
one child his son William, a child of ill-quality, & a sore affliction to his 

"Mary Chase the wife of William Chase, she had a paralitik humor 
which fell upon her backbone, so that she could not stir her body but as 
she was lifted, & filled her with great torture, & caused her backbone 
to go out of joynt & bunch out from the beginning to the end, of which 
infirmity she lay 4 years & a halfe, & a great part of the time a sad 
spectacle of misery — but it pleased God to raise her again — & she 
bore children." 

Rev. Dr. George Ellis, coming upon this record of the 
Apostle Eliot, wrote to Dr. Holmes for a diagnosis of the case 
according to the latest scientific and medical knowledge, and 
received the following most characteristic reply: — 

No. 296 Beacon St., June 3, 1881. 

My dear Dr. Ellis, — A consultation without seeing the patient 
is like a murder trial without the corpus delicti being in evidence. 
You remember the story of Jeremiah Mason, and the witness who had 
had a vision in which the Angel Gabriel informed him of some impor- 
tant facts : ' Subpoena the Angel Gabriel.' So I should say, carry us to 
the bedside of Mary Chase ; but she has been under green bed-clothes so 
long that I am afraid that she would be hard to wake up. We must 


guess as well as we can under the circumstances. The question is 
whether she had angular curvature, lateral curvature, or no curvature 
at all. If the first, angular curvature, you must consult such authorities 
as Bryant, Dewitt and the rest. If you are not satisfied with these 
modern writers, all 1 have to say is, as I have said before when asked 
whom to consult in such cases, " Go to Pott," to Percival Pott, the 
famous surgeon of the last century, from whom this affection has re- 
ceived the name by which it is still known, of " Pott's Disease," — for 
if a doctor has the luck to find out a new malady it is tied to his name 
like a tin-kettle to a dog's tail, and he goes clattering down the highway 
of fame to posterity with his aeolian attachment following at his heels. 
As for the lateral curvature, if that had existed, it seems as if the 
Apostle Eliot would have said she bulged sideways, or something like 
that, instead of saying the backbone bunched out from beginning to 
end. Besides I doubt if lateral curvature is apt to cause paralysis. 
Crooked backs are everywhere as tailors and dressmakers know, and 
nobody expects to be palsied because one shoulder is higher than 
the other — as Alexander the Great's was, and Alexander Pope's 

I doubt whether Mary Chase had any real curvature at all. Her 
case looks to me like one of those mimoses, as Marshall Hall called 
certain forms of hyeteria which imitate different diseases, among the 
rest paralysis. The body of a hysteric patient will take on the look of 
all sorts of more serious affections. As for mental and moral manifes- 
tations, a hysteric girl will lie so that Sapphira would blush for her, 
and she could give lessons to a professional pickpocket in the art of 
stealing. Hysteria might be described as possession, possession by 
seven devils, except that this number is quite insufficient to account for 
all the pranks played by the subjects of this extraordinary malady. 

I do not want to say anything against Mary Chase, but I suspect 
that, getting nervous and tired and hysteric, she got into bed, which she 
found rather agreeable after too much housework, and perhaps too much 
going to meeting ; liked it better and better, curled herself up into a 
bunch which made her look as if her back was really distorted, found 
she was cosseted and posseted and prayed over and made much of, and 
so lay quiet, until a false paralysis caught hold of her legs and held her 
there. If some one had " hollered " " Fire," it is not unlikely that she 
would have jumped out of bed as many other such paralytics have done 
under such circumstances. She could have moved, probably enough, if 
any one could have made her believe that she had the power of doing 
it. Possumus quia posse videmus. She had played possum so long 
that at last it became non possum. 

Yours very truly, 

0. W. Holmes, M.D. 


Hon. James M. Barker was appointed to write the memoir 
of the late Paul A. Chadbourne, which was originally assigned 
to the late Rev. Dr. Egbert C. Smyth. 

Mr. Charles C. Smith communicated by title for Mr. Wor- 
thington C. Ford, a Corresponding Member, " Some Notes 
by Alexander Hamilton of Debates in the Federal Convention 
of 1787." Mr. Smith also communicated for Mr. James F. 
Rhodes, who was unavoidably absent, the memoir of the late 
Edward L. Pierce, which Mr. Rhodes had been appointed to 
write for the Proceedings. 

Alexander Hamilton' 's Notes on the Federal Convention of 1787. 

The following notes of debates in the Federal Convention 
were taken by Alexander Hamilton, and are contained on a 
few undated sheets of paper among the Hamilton Papers in 
the Library of Congress. I was of the opinion that they might 
have been notes for the Federalist essays, taken from Madison's 
records ; but a more careful examination showed that they 
were independent memoranda, and often adding a little to 
what Madison wrote down in his capacity of self-appointed 
reporter. To show the connection I have drawn off the corre- 
sponding sentences in the Madison notes, using the excellent 
edition of Mr. Gaillard Hunt, which in thoroughness and 
accuracy is much in advance of any previous issue. There is 
enough of original matter in the Hamilton notes to justify the 
publication. They show the bent of his mind, and the differ- 
ence between the mental tastes of Madison and himself, 
demonstrating why Madison was so much the better reporter 
of debates. But a further point is made : the notes made by 
Paterson have just been printed, and it is known that Jackson, 
the secretary to the convention, made copious notes. May it 
not be conjectured that other members followed the course of 
Madison, Yates, King, Paterson, Jackson, and Hamilton, and 
that we have not yet exhausted the material in existence on 
this most interesting convention. Professors Jameson and 
McLaughlin have shown what can be done towards illustrating 
the documentary history of that assemblage, and in the same 
spirit I offer these notes of Hamilton. 





June 1, 1787. 



The way to prevent a majority 
from having an interest to oppress 
the minority is to enlarge the 

Madison. Elective Monarchies 
turbulent and unhappy. 

Men unwilling to admit so 
decided a superiority of merit in 
an individual as to accede to his 
appointment to so preeminent a 

If several are admitted as there 
will be many competitors of equal 
merit they may be all included — 
contention prevented — & the re- 
publican genius consulted. 

Randolph. I. Situation of this 
country peculiar. 

II. Taught the people an aver- 
sion to Monarchy. 

III. All their constitutions op- 
posed to it. 

IV. Fixed character of the 
people opposed to it. 

V. If proposed will prevent a 
fair discussion of the plan. 

VI. Why cannot three execute ? 
View (or voice) of America. 
Safety to liberty the next object. 

Great exertions only requisite 
on particular occasions. 

Legislature may appoint a dic- 
tator when necessary. 

Seeds of destruction — slaves — 
[former continental army struck 
out] might be safely enlisted. 

[Madison. If [Executive Power] 
large, we shall have the Evils of 
Elective Monarchies. Rufus King, 
I, 588.] 




May appoint men devoted to 
them — & even bribe the legisla- 
ture by offices. 

Chief Magistrate must be free 
from impeachment. 

Wilson. Extent — manners. 

Confederated republic unites ad- 
vantages & banishes disadvantages 
of other kinds of governments. 

rendering the executive ineli- 
gible an infringement of the right 
of election. 

Bedford, peculiar talents requi- 
site for execution, therefore ought 
to be opportunity of ascertaining 
his talents — -therefore frequent 

Princ. 1. The further men are 
from the ultimate point of im- 
portance the readier they will be 
[to] concur in a change. 

2. Civilization approximates the 
different species of governments. 

3. Vigour is the result of sev- 
eral principles, activity wisdom — ■ 

4. Extent of limits will occasion 
the non attendance of remote mem- 
bers & tend to throw the govern- 
ment into the hands of the Country 
near the seat of government — a 
reason for strengthening the upper 
branch & multiplying the Induce- 
ments to attendance. 

Mr. Bedford was strongly op- 
posed to so long a term as seven 
years. He begged the Committee 
to consider what the situation of 
the Country would be, in case the 
first magistrate should be saddled 
on it for such a period and it 
should be found on trial that he 
did not possess the qualifications 
ascribed to him, or should lose 
them after his appointment. Madi- 
son, III,. 63-4. 


June 6, 1787. 

I. Human mind fond of Com- 

Maddisons Theory- 
Two principles upon which re- 
publics ought to be constructed. ' 

I. That they have such extent 
as to render combinations on the 
ground of Interest difficult. 

II. By a process of election 
calculated to refine the representa- 
tion of the People. 

Answer. There is truth in both 
these principles but they do not 
conclude so strongly as he sup- 

The Assembly when chosen will 
meet in one room if they are drawn 
from half the globe — & will be 
liable to all the passions of popular 

If more minute links are want- 
ing others will supply them. Dis- 
tinctions of Eastern middle and 
Southern states will come into 
view ; between commercial and 
non commercial States. Imagi- 
nary lines will influence, &c. 
Human mind prone to limit its 
view by near and local objects. 

Paper money is capable of giving 
a general impulse. It is easy to 
conceive a popular sentiment per- 
vading the E. States. 

Observ. large districts less liable 
to be influenced by factious dem- 
agogues than small. 

Note. This is in some degree 
true but not so generally as may 
be supposed. Frequently small 
portions of the large districts carry 
elections. An influential dem- 
agogue will give an impulse to 




the whole. Demagogues are not 
always inconsiderable persons. Pa- 
tricians were frequently dema- 
gogues. Characters are less known 
& a less active interest taken in 

A free government to be pre- 
ferred to an absolute monarchy 
not because of the occasional vio- 
lations of liberty or property, but 
because of the tendency of the 
Free Government to interest the 
passions of the community in its 
favour, beget public spirit and 
public confidence. 

Re. When public mind is pre- 
pared to adopt the present plan 
they will outgo oui proposition. 
They will -never part with Sover- 
eignty of the state till they are 
tired (?) of the state governments. 

M5 Pinkney. If Legislatures 
do not partake in the appoint- 
ment of, they will be more jeal- 

Pinckney. Elections by the 
State legislatures will be better 
than those by the people. 

Principle. Danger that the 
Executive by too frequent com- 
munication with the judicial may 
corrupt it. They may learn to 
enter into his passions. 

Note. At the period which ter- 
minates the duration of the Execu- 
tive, there will be always an awful 
crisis — in the national situation. 

Note. The arguments to prove 
that a negative would not be used 
would go so far as to prove that 

The State Legislatures also he 
said would be more jealous, & 
more ready to thwart the National 
Gov*, if excluded from a participa- 
tion in it. Madison, III, 107. 

He differed from gentlemen who 
thought that a choice by the people 
w d - be a better guard ag st bad 
measures, than by the Legisla- 
tures. Madison, III, 107. 




the revisionary power would not 
be exercised. 

M r Mason. The purse & sword 
will be in the hands of the [execu- 
tive, struck out] — legislature. 

One great defect of our Govern- 
ments are that they do not present 
objects sufficiently interesting to 
the human mind. 

A reason for leaving little or 
nothing to the state legislatures 
will be that as their objects are 
diminished they will be worse com- 
posed. Proper men will be less 
inclined to participate in them. 

The purse & the sword ought 
never to get into the same hands 
whether Legislative or Executive. 
Madison, III, 110. 

June 7, 1787. 

Dickinson. He would have the 
state legislatures elect senators, be- 
cause he would bring into the gen- 
eral government the sense of the 
state Governments & 

because the most respectable 
choices would be made. 

Note. Separate states may give 
stronger organs to their govern- 
ments or engage more the good 
will of : — while Gen! Gov. 
gg 3 Consider the Principle of 
Rivalship by excluding the state 


M r Dickinson had two reasons 
for his motion. 1, because the 
sense of the States would be better 
collected through their Govern- 
ments ; than immediately from the 
people at large ; 

2. because he wished the Senate 
to consist of the most distinguished 
characters, . . . and he thought 
such characters more likely to be 
selected by the State Legislatures, 
than in any other mode. Madison, 
III, 112. 

M r . Pinckney thought the 2 d . 
branch ought to be permanent & 
independent ; & that the members 
of it w d .' be rendered more so by 
receiving their appointment from 
the State Legislatures. This mode 
would avoid the rivalships & dis- 




Mason. General government 
could not know how to make laws 
for every part — such as respect 
agriculture, &c. 

particular governments would have 
no defensive power unless let into 
the constitution as a Constituent 

contents incident to the election by 
districts. Madison, III, 119. 

Mason. It is impossible for one 
power to pervade the extreme 
parts of the U. S. so as to carry 
equal justice to them. Madison, 
III, 120. 

The State Legislatures also 
ought to have some means of de- 
fending themselves ag s ! encroach- 
ments of the Nat! Gov* . . . And 
what better means can we provide 
than the giving them some share 
in, or rather to make them a con- 
stituent part of, the Nat! Estab- 
lishment. Madison, III, 120. 


June 8, 1787. 
For general Nega- 

Gerry. Is for negative on pa- 
per emissions. 

New States will arise which 
cannot be controuled — & may 
outweigh & controul. 

Wilson. Foreign influence may 
infect certain corners of confed- 
eracy what ought to be restrained. 

Union bases of our oppos. & 

Bedford. Arithmetical calcu- 
lation of proportional influence in 
General Government. 

Pensyl. & Delaware may have 
rivalship in commerce — & influ- 
ence of Pens, sacrifice delaware. 

He urged that such a univer- 
sality of the power [to negative 
all laws judged improper] was in- 
dispensably necessary to render it 
effectual. Madison, III, 121. 

He had no objection to author- 
ize a negative to paper money and 
similar measures. Madison, III, 

New States too having separate 
views from the old States will 
never come into the Union. They 
may even be under some foreign 
influence. Madison, III, 123. 

In this case Delaware would 
have about Vgo for its share in the 
General Councils, whilst Pa & Va 
would possess % of the whole. Is 
there no difference of interests, no 
rivalship of commerce, of manufac- 




If there be a negative in G. G. 
yet if a law can pass through all 
the forms of S — C it will require 
force to abrogate it. 

Butler. Will a man throw afloat 
his property & confide it to a gov- 
ernment a thousand miles distant ? 

tures ? Will not these large 
States crush the small ones when- 
ever they stand in the way of their 
ambitions or interested views. . . . 
If the State does not obey the law 
of the new System, must not force 
be resorted to as the only ultimate 
remedy. Madison, III, 125-6. 

June 16, 1787, 

M r Lansing. N[ew] S[ystem] 
proposes to draw representation 
from the whole body of people, 
without regard to S[tate] sover- 

Subs : proposes to preserve the 
State Sovereignties. 

Powers. Different Legislatures 
had a different object. 

Revise the confederation. 

Ind. States cannot be supposed 
to be willing to annihilate the 

State of New York would not 
have agreed to send members on 
this ground. 

In vain to devise systems how- 
ever good which will not be 

If convulsions happen nothing 
we can do will give them a direc- 

Legislatures cannot be expected 
to make such a sacrafice. 

The wisest men in forming a 
system from theory apt to be mis- 

He was decidedly of opinion 
that the power of the Convention 
was restrained to amendments of a 
federal nature, and having for 
their basis the Confederacy in 

N. York would never have con- 
curred in sending deputies to the 
Convention, if she had supposed 
the deliberations were to turn on 
a consolidation of the States, and 
a National Government. 

It is in vain to propose what 
will not accord with these [senti- 
ments of people.] 




The present national govern- 
ment has no precedent or experi- 
ence to support it. 

General opinion that certain ad- 
ditional powers ought to be given 
to Congress. 

M r . Patterson. 1. plan accords 
with powers. 

2. plan accords with sentiments 
of the People. 

If Confederation radically defec- 
tive we ought to return to our 
states and tell them so. 

Comes not here to speak senti- 
ments of his own but to speak the 
sense of his Constituents. 

States treat[ed] as equal. 

Present Compact gives one vote 
to each state. 

Alterations are to be made by 
Congress and all the Legislatures. 

All parties to a Contract must 
assent to its dissolution. 

States collectively have advan- 
tages in which the smaller states 
do not participate — therefore in- 
dividual rules do not apply. 

Force of government will not 
depend on proportion of represen- 
tation — but on 

Quantity of power. 

Check not necessary in a ge[n- 
e]ral government of communities 
— but 

in an individual state spirit of 
faction is to be checked. 

How have Congress hitherto 
conducted themselves ? 

The People approve of Congress 
but think they have not powers 

The Scheme is itself totally 
novel. There is no parallel to it 
to be found. 

An augmentation of the powers 
of Congress will be readily ap- 
proved by them. Madison, III, 
171, 2. 

He preferred it because it ac- 
corded 1. with the powers of the 
Convention, 2 with the sentiments 
of the people. 

If the confederacy was radically 
wrong, let us return to our States, 
and obtain larger powers, not as- 
sume them ourselves. 

I came here not to speak my 
own sentiments, but the sentiments 
of those who sent me. 

5th. art : of confederation giv- 
ing each State a vote. 

13th. declaring that no altera- 
tion shall be made without unani- 
mous consent. 

What is unanimously done must 
be unanimously undone. 

Its efficacy will depend on the 
quantum of power collected, not 
on its being drawn from the States, 
or from the individuals. 

The reason of the precaution [a 
check] is not applicable to this 
case. Within a particular State, 
where party heats prevail, such a 
check may be necessary. 

Do the people at large complain 
of Cong 5 ? No, what they wish is 
that Cong 5 may have more power. 






body constituted like Congress 
from the fewness of their numbers 
more wisdom and energy — 

than the complicated system of 

Expence enormous. 

180 commons, 90 senators, 270. 

Wilson. Points of Disagreement. 


2 or three 
Derives author- 
ity from 
Proportion of 
i. Single Executive. 
5. Majority to gov- 
Legislate in all 





matters of gen- 
eral concern. 


Removeable by 



One branch. 

from States 


Minority to 

Partial ob- 


On applica- 
tion of ma- 
jority of 



Qualified negative 
by Executive. 

10. Inf[erior] tribunals. 

11. Orig[inal] Jurisdic- 

tion in all cases 
of Nat : Rev. 

12. National Gov- To be rati- 

ernment to fled by Leg- 
be ratified by islatures. 
Empowered to propose every 
thing, to conclude nothing. 

Does not think State govern- 
ments the idols of the people. 

With proper powers Cong? will 
act with more energy & wisdom 
than the proposed Nat! Legislature ; 
being fewer in number. 

You have 270 coming once at 
least a year from the most distant 
as well as the most central parts 
of the republic . . . can so expen- 
sive a system be seriously thought 
of? Madison, III, 172-175. 

See Madison III, 175, 176. 

p. 176 

p. 176 




Thinks a competent national 
government will be a favorite of 
the people. 

Complaints from every part of 
United States that the purposes of 
government cannot be answered. 

In constituting a government 
not merely necessary to give 
proper powers, but to give them 
to proper hands. 

Two reasons against giving ad- 
ditional powers to Congress. 

First it does not stand on the 
authority of the people. 

Second, It is a single branch. 

Inequality, the poison of all 
governments. . 

Lord Chesterfield speaks of a 
Commission to be obtained for a 
member of a small province. 

p. 177 


Mr. Elsworth. 

M r . Randolph. Spirit of the 
People in favour of the Virginia 

We have powers ; but if we had 
not we ought not to scruple. 

M r . Randolph was not scrupu- 
lous on the point of power. 

June 19, 1787. 

Maddison. Breach of compact 
in one article releases the whole. 

Treaties may still be violated 
by the States under the Jersey 

Appellate jurisdiction not suffi- 
cient because second trial cannot 
be had under it. 

A breach of the fundamental 
principles of the compact by a 
part of the Society would cer- 
tainly absolve the other part from 
their obligation to it. Madison 
III, 210. 

The proposed amendment to it 
[Confederation] does not supply 
the omission. Madison, III, 212. 

Of what avail c d an appellate 
tribunal be, after an acquittal? 
Madison, III, 213. 




Attempts made by one of the 
greatest monarchs of Europe to 
equalize the local peculiarities of 
the separate provinces — in which 
the agent fell a victim. 

It had been found impossible 
for one of the most absolute 
princes in Europe (K. of France) 
directed by the wisdom of one of 
the most enlightened Ministers 
(M r . Neckar) &c. Madison, III, 

June 20, 1787. 

M r Lansing. Resolved that the 
powers of legislation ought to be 
vested in the United States in 

If our plan be not adopted it 
will produce those mischiefs which 
we are sent to obviate. 

Principles of system. 

Equality of Representation. 

Dependence of members of Con- 
gress on States. 

So long as state distinctions 
exist, state prejudices will operate 
whether election be by states or 

If no interest to oppress no 
need of apportionment. 

Virginia 16. Delaware 1. 
Will General Government have 
leisure to examine state laws ? 

Will G. Government have the 
necessary information ? 

Will states agree to surrender? 

Let us meet public opinion & 
hope the progress of sentiment 
will make future arrangements. 

M r Lansing . . . moved . . 
" that the powers of legislation be 
vested in the U. States in Con- 
gress." Madison, III, 227. 

If it were true that such a 
uniformity of interests existed 
among the States, there was equal 
safety for all of them, whether the 
representation remained as here- 
tofore, or were proportioned as 
now proposed. Madison, III, 228. 

Is it conceivable that there will 
be leisure for such a task. Madi- 
son, III, 229. 

Will the members of the General 
Legislature be competent judges? 
Madison, III, 229. 




Would like my [Hamilton's] 
system if it could be established. 
System without example. 

M r Mason. Objection to grant- 
ing power to Congress arose from 
their constitution. 

Sword and purse in one body. 

Two principles in which America 
are unanimous. 

1. Attachment to Republican 

2- Attachment to two branches 
of legislature. 

Military force and liberty in- 

Will people maintain a stand- 
ing army ? 

Will endeavour to preserve 
State governments & draw lines 
— trusting to posterity to amend. 

M? Martin. General Govern- 
ment originally formed for the 
preservation of state governments. 

Objection to giving power to 
Congress has originated with the 

so of the states interested in an 
equal voice. 

Real motive was an opinion that 
there ought to be distinct govern- 
ments & not a general govern- 

Is it to be thought that the 
people of America . . . will sur- 
render both the sword and the 
purse to the same body ? Madison, 
III, 231. 

In two points he was sure it 
was well settled. 1. in an attach- 
ment to Republican government. 

2. in an attachment to more than 
one branch in the legislature, do. 
The most jarring elements of 
Nature . . . are not more in- 
compatible than such a mixture 
of civil liberty and military execu- 
tion, do. 232. 

See Madison, III, 232, 233. 

General Government was in- 
stituted for the purpose of that 
support [of State governments]. 

It was the Legislatures not the 
people who refused to enlarge their 

Otherwise ten of the States 
must always have been ready 
to place further confidence in 

People of America preferred 
the establishment of themselves 
into 13 separate sovereignties in- 
stead of incorporating themselves 
into one. 

_>_— . 






If we should form a general 
government twould break to pieces. 

For common safety instituted a 
General government. 

Jealousy of power the motive. 

People have delegated all their 
authority to State government. 

Caution necessary to both 

Requisitions necessary upon one 
system as upon another. 

In their system made requisi- 
tions necessary in the first in- 
stance but left Congress in the 
second instance to assess them- 

Judicial tribunals in the differ- 
ent states would become odious. 

If we always to make a change 
we shall be always in a state of 

® a States will not be disposed 
hereafter to strengthen the general 

Madison, III, 233, 234. 

People of states having already 
tested their powers in their re- 
spective Legislatures &c. 

. . . would be viewed with 
a jealousy inconsistent with its 

M? Sherman. Confederacy car- 
ried us through the war. 

Non compliances of states owing 
to various embarrassments. 

Why should state legislatures be 
unfriendly ? 

State governments will always 
have the confidence & government 
of the people ; if they cannot be 
conciliated no efficacious govern- 
ment can be established. 

Sense of all states that one 
branch is sufficient. 

If consolidated all treaties will 
be void. 

Congress carried us through 
the war. 

Much might be said in apology 
for the failure ... to comply 
with the confederation. 

Saw no reason why the State 
Legislatures should be unfriendly. 

In none of the ratifications is 
the want of two branches noticed 
or complained of. 

To consolidate the States 
would dissolve our treaties. 



State governments more fit for Each State like each individual 

local legislation, customs, habits has its peculiar habits usages and 
&c. manners. Madison, III, 235, 236. 

Date unidentified. 1 

M* Pinckney. is of opinion that 
the first branch ought to be ap- 
pointed in such manner as the 
legislatures shall direct. 

Impracticable for general legis- 
lature to decide contested elections. 

Remarks were made during the meeting by the President 
and Messrs. Samuel A. Green, William R. Thayer, Wil- 
liam W. Goodwin, Thomas W. Higginson, and others. 

After the adjournment the members, with invited guests, 
were entertained at luncheon in the Ellis Hall by the 

1 On same sheet with the notes for June 19. 

%?&n/J>fodlet# &c£», 

? ^6^1/ < Z^CA^ 

3? fL 







Edward Lillie Pierce was born at Stoughton, Massachu- 
setts, on March 29, 1829, and died in Paris on September 6, 1897. 
His ancestry was the sturdy Puritanical stock of the rural dis- 
tricts of New England. His father, Jesse Pierce, was a farmer, 
a schoolmaster, colonel of militia, and also served a number of 
terms in the lower branch of the Massachusetts Legislature. 
He was a good teacher and sympathetic father, and repaid his 
son Edward for the hard work he did during the day on the 
farm by systematic instruction in the evening. Edward had 
robust health and took kindly to this blending of physical and 
mental training. It was a wholesome bringing-up. In due 
time he was sent to the State Normal School at Bridgewater, 
where he was prepared for college, entering Brown University 
at the age of seventeen. He had the cacoethes scribendi, and 
during his college course wrote a number of magazine articles, 
three of which were printed in the " Democratic Review." 
After graduating from Brown he went to the Harvard Law 
School, and in 1852 took his degree of LL.B. 

While still in college, his political life began by the forma- 
tion of a life-long friendship with Charles Sumner and by his 
ardent espousal of the anti-slavery cause. As a boy of sixteen 
he had heard with admiration Sumner's Fourth of July address 
on the True Grandeur of Nations, and later had attended two 
lectures which were delivered in Providence. Eager to make 
the acquaintance of the speaker he so revered, he sent to him 
with a letter one of his magazine articles, which brought from 
Sumner an invitation to call upon him, and this Pierce availed 
himself of many times during his frequent visits to Boston ; he 


also wrote to Sumner on other occasions for advice, which was 
freely given. On a certain day in 1850 Edward Pierce made 
this entry in his journal : " I have read the Fugitive Slave bill 
to-day, and it is outrageous. I stand ready to defy it and to 
give succor to the fugitive." His warm friendship with Sum- 
ner and his desire for the freedom of the slaves were the most 
important influences on his career. He also fell under the 
sway of Salmon P. Chase. Introduced to him by Sumner, he 
was for a while in his law office in Cincinnati, and afterwards 
became the private secretary of the Senator in Washington ; 
but in 1855 he returned to Boston. 

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Edward Pierce went 
to the front as a three months' volunteer with the Massachusetts 
Third, and at Fort Monroe was placed by General Butler in 
charge of the " contraband " negroes who were working on 
the entrenchments. He wrote an interesting account of his 
experience for the " Atlantic Monthly " (November, 1861), and 
when his term of enlistment expired, he was sent by Secretary 
Chase to Port Royal, South Carolina, to superintend the raising 
of cotton by the freedmen. His interest in this matter was 
great, and he was fond in after life of referring to his experi- 
ence during the first two years of the war. His sympathy with 
the negro never ceased. " Did you know," he wrote to me, 
February 8, 1895, " a negro college gave me LL.D. last summer ? 
You would not value that, but I value it more than the one 
given me by Brown University. It was from Claflin Univer- 
sity, Orangeburg, South Carolina, where Keitt lived." 

In 1863 he was appointed by President Lincoln Collector of 
Internal Revenue in Boston. From 1866 to 1870 he was Dis- 
trict Attorney of Norfolk and Plymouth counties ; from 1870 to 
1871, Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of State Charities. 
In 1875 and 1876 he was a. member of the House of Represen- 
tatives of his Commonwealth, and he also represented the town 
of Milton in that body at the time of his death. In common 
with many Republicans he was defeated for Congress in 1890. 
Edward Pierce loved political life, and it was a pity for the 
community that he was not more frequently called into the 
service of his State or nation. He published a law book in 
1857, another in 1871, and still another in 1881. He was 
made a member of this Society in March, 1893, and served on 
the Council from 1895 to 1897. In 1895 he edited the Diary 



of John Rowe. He read with great effect, at our March meet- 
ing in 1896, a very interesting paper on Recollections as a 
Source of History. This and some other articles he published 
in a book of addresses and essays in 1896. 

His most memorable literary work was the Memoir and 
Letters of Charles Sumner, the last two volumes of which were 
published in 1893. This work is his title to fame. When one 
says that the biography is written by an ardent friend and 
hero worshipper, one has uttered the only criticism that is 
likely to be made of it. It is almost always accurate, it is in 
the main impartial. A positive man, as was Edward Pierce, 
would certainly express his opinions, but he covers up nothing, 
and whenever he is an advocate or partisan he is an honest 
one. In parts of his book he shows a fine reserve. Even a 
conservative acquaintance thought him too moderate in treat- 
ing the Brooks assault. But, said Pierce, in a private letter, 
" he is mistaken. The true way was to set forth all the facts 
clearly which had not been done before and to leave them 
there without epithet or display of temper." Pierce, like Sum- 
ner, never exhibited any vindictiveness to Brooks, although he 
had, as an impressible young man, a vivid sense of the injury 
done to his hero. In September, 1856, he dined and took tea 
in company with Sumner at the house of a common friend in 
Philadelphia, writing thus in his diary : " Sumner looks as 
well as ever, and his appetite and digestion are good. But his 
step is still very measured, and he has had wakeful nights. 
He says he shall recover. ... I fear he may have a spinal 
affection." On one of his many journeys Pierce, if I remem- 
ber correctly, visited the grave of Preston Brooks in South 

His attitude towards Sumner is well exhibited in an excla- 
mation in a private letter : " What slippery fellows public men 
are! Sumner is the only one on whom you could put your 
finger and always find him there — never double or mislead- 
ing." I do not remember that Pierce points out in his book 
how much easier it is for a public man who has devoted him- 
self almost exclusively to a moral cause to be consistent than 
it is for a party leader or a constructive statesman. But such 
an omission in the book cannot be accounted a defect. 

Pierce's idea of the work of an historian or a biographer is 
well stated in another private letter. To read " newspapers, 


pamphlets, books, official reports, etc.," he wrote, "is a dreary 
work, tasking nerves and eyes, but it richly repays in the 
finished result. I have little respect for genius except in 
science, but I have profound respect for honest, painstaking 
industry in everything, be it history, biography, or travels. 
The men who declined to write Sumner's memoir would have 
beaten me in fine English, but I feel that I have matched them 
by patience and toil." In the preparation of the Memoir of 
Sumner Pierce read forty thousand letters (I believe) ; he did 
all his work himself, having no assistants of any kind. His 
book is more than a biography. It is a history of many phases 
of the time. It is by no means written alone from his wealth 
of manuscript material. He compassed also much of the 
printed matter. He knew thoroughly the fifteen volumes of 
Sumner's Works. He was well read in the Congressional 
Globe and in the newspapers of the day, and he had a knack 
at going to the bottom of things which renders his notes of 
great value to the historical student. With the general -his- 
tories and biographies he was of course acquainted. The book 
is a valuable contribution to American history, and Charles 
Sumner was fortunate in his biographer. 

Pierce's knowledge of men and affairs enabled him to use 
his literary materials in a masterly way. From an early age 
he sought the company of distinguished men, whom he studied 
as well as books. Here is an entry in his diary for Septem- 
ber, 1856 : " In New York I was introduced by John Bigelow 
to Colonel Fremont, the Republican candidate for President. 
During our interview a delegation of orthodox clergymen 
waited upon him to satisfy themselves of the falsity of the 
rumor that he is a Catholic. He is a thin, spare man, but 
compact and sinewy. His conversation is easy and positive. 
He appears to be an honest man." Pierce took great joy in 
travel and was constantly going about. He went to Europe 
seventeen or eighteen times, I believe. He went into society 
a good deal in England, and at one time saw much of John 
Bright and John Morley, his admiration for Bright being great. 
The Athenaeum Club he used to say was a home. Here is an 
account he wrote to me dated at the Athenaeum, August 27, 
1893 : " I lunched with Joseph Chamberlain last week. His 
young Salem wife calls him 6 Joe.' At the table were also his 
daughter and his son, an M. P., who is a Unionist whip. On 


Friday night I was in the House and heard all the leaders, Glad- 
stone, Morley, Chamberlain, Goschen, Balfour, Sir H. James, 
J. Bryce, but it was hardly a great debate, though it was the 
night the bill passed. It concerned details rather than prin- 
ciples." Enoch, his dragoman at Cairo, used to say that when 
Mr. Pierce was stopping at Shepheard's Hotel he lost no op- 
portunity of becoming acquainted with distinguished men, 
even introducing himself when no other opportunity offered. 
He told Enoch he considered it a duty to so employ his time. 
He would go out of his way to visit American public men. 
He once passed the larger part of two days with Fessenden 
(the summer of 1864) when the Maine Senator and Sumner 
were not on the best of terms. He says in his book that both 
these Senators were " important to the public service " and 
were " of equal integrity and patriotism " (vol. iv. p. 190). 
He knew Trumbull well, and never lost his respect for him, 
although he deprecated his cheap money and labor ideas of 
later days. In a review of John Sherman's Recollections in 
the " American Historical Review " he put on record his appre- 
ciation of the services of the hard-working Ohio Senator, and 
was very desirous of making his personal acquaintance. From 
the lips of Sumner and Chase he heard much history ; from his 
friendship with Senator Hoar the continuity of historical tra- 
dition was maintained. 

Places as well as people interested this many-sided man. 
In October, 1893, he wrote to me from Italy : " Two weeks 
ago I was at Vallombrosa. You recall Milton's line 4 thick as 
[autumnal] leaves in Vallombrosa.' I found less than I have 
in my garden in November. I walked under the dense shade 
of the pines, but did not ascend to the line where the chestnuts 
begin. It is on a high hill or mountain, not in a valley, as I 
supposed." I must add what follows as illustrating a previous 
remark : " I had an interview with old Kossuth, October 3, at 
Turin. His mind is as clear as ever — and just think of it — 
he is 91." In the following February he wrote to me : 
" Rome is of course always interesting, and excavations have 
opened much in the last twenty-five years. But I think the 
fascination is much less with the tourists of to-day than with the 
old travellers like Goethe or Americans like Sumner and Hil- 
lard, who came in the thirties and forties, who entered by dili- 
gence and threaded its narrow streets. Everywhere are wide 


boulevards and grand hotels. A horde of tourists, mostly igno- 
rant, largely old maids, widows, and wandering girls, aimless, 
pretending, perhaps, to care for art but caring mostly for spec- 
tacles, dances, drives, and flirting, — such as these abound. 
The Rome that once was which scholars entered with reveren- 
tial awe has gone forever, and in its place is a modern Paris 
still rich in art and in landscapes, where present life so op- 
presses you that it is impossible to revive the past as one could 
a half-century and century ago." 

Pierce's radical views and pronounced opinions did not pre- 
vent his loving fairness and justice. A paragraph in one of 
his letters to me (October 22, 1893) produced on me a pro- 
found impression : u I wrote Professor Shaler some months 
ago," he said, "(never having yet seen him) suggesting that he 
or Professor Gildersleeve take up the treatment of our soldiers 
in Southern prisons, and show that it was not what the state- 
ments of our historians and government make it to have been, 
saying that it was very important for the good name of the 
Southern people that it should be done. The professor replied 
courteously, but said I had better do it ! Of course it was not 
my field, but for the honor of human nature I wish such a vin- 
dication if possible should be made." 

My friendship with Edward L. Pierce began in 1893, and 
continued up to the time of his death. When we were both 
at home, we saw much of each other, He was accustomed 
often to drop in to luncheon, and not infrequently passed a 
night with us in town or in the country. He was ever the 
genial, kindly-disposed, unselfish man. He was an intelligent 
talker, and the conversation was apt to run on his different 
experiences with men. He was decidedly an interesting man. 
Apt to be egotistical, he never displayed conceit and never 
bored you. I saw much of him in company with General J. D. 
Cox, Justin Winsor, and George H. Monroe, all deceased 
members of this Society, and with them he was sympathetic, 
expansive, and humorous, showing a wide knowledge of Amer- 
ican history and politics. He used to say with a twinkle in 
his eye that he never talked history except with us. Certainly 
I have never heard many men talk better than he did on those 

In this paper I have emphasized Edward Pierce's geniality, 
fairness, and toleration. I have been told frequently that 


there was another side, less lovely, to his character. In social 
intercourse I never saw that side, and only once on a public 
occasion. I have presented him as he appeared to me, and if 
the presentation be not accurate as a whole picture, it is a 
faithful portrayal of the side which I saw. I rate him a splen- 
did type of a Massachusetts man and an American. 

His devotion to this Society was marked. Longing for ad- 
mittance to it for many years and feeling keenly the lack of 
appreciation or the slight which prevented his election for so 
long a time, lie accepted the membership when it came with 
gratitude. He counted it a great honor to belong to the So- 
ciety, and believed too that duty went with honor. He was a 
diligent member. Always present when possible at the meet- 
ings, he looked forward to them with pleasure and discoursed 
of the past proceedings with interest. It will be recalled that 
his death and that of Mr. Winsor were commemorated at two 
successive meetings [October and November, 1897]. I remem- 
ber a remark of our President, " Their loss to the Society is 
almost irreparable." 




The stated meeting — the first since the summer vaca- 
tion — was held on Thursday, the 13th instant, at three 
o'clock, P.M.; the President in the chair. 

The record of the June meeting was read and approved ; 
and reports were presented by the Librarian, the Correspond- 
ing Secretary, and the Cabinet-Keeper. 

On the recommendation of the Council it was voted that 
the name- of the Right Hon. John Morley should be trans- 
ferred from the list of Corresponding Members to that of 
Honorary Members. 

The President read the following paper: — 

For the sixth time since our occupation of this building, we 
resume our monthly meetings. It is also the tenth October 
in which it has devolved on me, when here, to welcome back 
the members of the Society. Both facts are suggestive at 
least of the extreme rapidity of change ; for, while nearly one- 
third of our membership has already been renewed since this 
building has been in use, considerably less than one-half the 
names now on its Resident roll were on that roll when, in 
December, 1894, Dr. Ellis died. 

Once only during these ten Octobers have we met the same 
in number as when we separated in June. The exception was 
a year ago. This October follows the rule ; and I have to 
announce three vacancies in the roll of our Resident Member- 
ship, and one in our Corresponding roll. Of these presently ; 
but in years past it has been my custom on this occasion to 
make some reference, more or less extended, to what has been 
accomplished by the Society during the summer interval, and 
also to events of possible future historical interest which may 
therein have occurred. 

So far as the Society and its work are concerned there is 
little — indeed, practically nothing — to report. We have 
not added to our list of publications, except the Serial now on 



the table, covering our May and June meetings ; nor has any- 
thing of special moment occurred at our building. Editorial 
work on both the Heath Papers and Mr. Chamberlain's 
History of Chelsea has progressed steadily, but with no 
outward results. 

The only commemoration of a noticeable character during 
the summer was the series of tercentenaries held in the 
provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in commemo- 
ration of the De Monts and Champlain settlements of 1604, 
the story of which has been told by Parkman. In those 
celebrations this Society was specially invited to participate, 
and Mr. Lord and myself took it upon us to represent it. 
Leaving Boston on the evening of the 17th June, we passed 
the following Sunday in Halifax ; and on Monday went to 
Annapolis-Royal, where the first of the celebrations, extending 
over two days, took place. As, doubtless, many of the mem- 
bers of the Society are aware, Annapolis- Royal lies in the 
very heart of what is now generally spoken of as u the Evan- 
geline country," Grand Pre being but twenty miles from it ; it 
is also connected with a number of historic events which cut 
no inconsiderable figure in the first century and a half of the 
history of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay. 
From every point of view — poetic, legendary, historical — 
it is interesting ground. There, and at St.. John, and finally 
at St. Croix, Mr. Lord and I were treated with much consider- 
ation, and the occasions were made highly enjoyable to us. 
We w r ere made to feel at home. Indeed, it was surprising to 
us both to realize the degree in which the New England, and 
especially the Massachusetts, element permeates the so-called 
Provinces. In Nova Scotia, for instance, the present venerable 
Lieutenant-Governor, Mr. Jones, is descended from Revolution- 
ary refugees from the town (Weston) next to that in which I 
live ; while the able and genial Attorney-General, the Presi- 
dent of their Historical Society, Mr. J. W. Longley, is also of 
Massachusetts descent, coming, I believe, from Groton. In the 
burying-ground of Halifax many of the unhappy Revolution- 
ary refugees found a resting-place ; and Mr. Lord read and 
copied the inscription over the grave of one whose familiar 
Pilgrim name showed that the ashes underneath properly 
should be in Plymouth. We here and now fail to realize that 
" by the summer of 1784 it was estimated that 30,000 loyalists 


had settled in Nova Scotia." 1 By no means all of these were 
from New England; and curious evidence of a considerable 
Southern infusion is still apparent in the large number of those 
of African blood living in and about Annapolis-Royal, — nearly 
all, I was informed, the descendants of slaves who had accom- 
panied their royalist owners into exile. St. John, as is well 
known, was settled by Revolutionary royalists, and almost the 
first address there made at the June commemoration was by 
the Vice-President of the Society of Loyalists. Needless to 
say, throughout all that region the names of Longfellow and 
Parkman are household words. 

Of my contributions to those occasions I do not know that 
any detailed reports were published ; and certainly I had 
made for them no elaborate preparation. It was the same 
with Mr. Lord. Depending entirely on the moment to suggest 
what might "be suitable, I made one point which at the time 
seemed of interest, and has to me so seemed since. It was 
at Annapolis-Royal. I there sought to distinguish the French 
settlement of 1604, with which De Monts and Champlain were 
connected, from the subsequent English settlement of 1620 at 
Plymouth, — our settlement. I did so by emphasizing the fact 
that the early French settlements, one and all, so far as my 
investigations enabled me to express an opinion, consisted 
solely of men. They had a mercantile purpose, and not one 
of them contained within itself the capacity of self-perpetuation. 
That is, until Plymouth, there was no settlement anywhere on 
either American continent in which women and the family 
entered as an equal factor with males. There was consequently 
dramatic significance in the Plymouth legend that Mary Chil- 
ton, a mere girl, was the first to spring ashore, when a boat 
from the " Mayflower " brought to land its pioneer load. It 
may be only a tradition ; and, like most traditions, it is more 
than probable it might resolve itself into nothing under the 
test of cautious inquiry. But Mary Chilton has passed into 
history with that girlish leap from the boat on to the Plymouth 
shore ; and that leap forecast our future. Within her girdle, I 
declared, was the potentiality of Empire. 

So also, curiously enough, because again symbolical of a 
momentous fact, it is said that Ann Pollard, then a girl of 

1 See paper on " Nova Scotia during the Revolution," by E. P. Weaver, American 
Historical Review, vol. x. pp. 52-71. 



eight, " went over in the first boat that crossed Charles River, 
in 1630, to what has since been called Boston ; [and] was the 
first that jumped ashore." Her portrait hangs on our walls, 
alleged to have been taken of her in her hundred and third 
year. 1 

My assertion, while pleasantly received when made, sub- 
sequently excited criticism. In the August " Canadian 
Magazine," a copy of which in due time reached me, there was 
an attempt to invalidate it. It was there asserted that my 
claim on behalf of Plymouth would " not stand investigation." 
Women and children, it was contended, formed a part of the 
St. Augustine settlement of Menendez as early as 1565, while 
in 1607 Mrs. Thomas Forest and her maid, Anne Barras, 
landed at Jamestown ; where, a few weeks later, the first 
Virginia marriage was celebrated. The writer of the article 2 
goes on to say : " Women did not arrive [in Nova Scotia] 
until probably fourteen years after Jamestown had been 
favored with their presence. If the presence of women is the 
test of permanent settlement, then the honor must go to St. 
Augustine and Jamestown." In 1617, moreover, the Sieur 
Hebert arrived at Quebec with his family ; and there, the next 
year, his eldest daughter married Etienne Jonquest, the first 
marriage solemnized in Quebec. So also it is claimed 
Marguerite Vienne came to Quebec with her husband in 1616. 
The writer of the criticism then closes with these words : 
u In any case the honor of the first permanent settlement can- 
not go to the Massachusetts colony of 1620. St. Augustine 
1565, Port Royal 1601, Jamestown 1607, Quebec 1608, all 
have prior claims on the distinction. " 

At Annapolis-Royal I certainly, in what I said, did not 
speak by the book ; but, making since then a cursory examina- 
tion of the histories of that period, I find in those histories an 
important omission. Nowhere has a definite study been 
attempted of the part women, and the family unit, played 
in the early settlement of America. If cases of individual 
women, whether wives and daughters of officials, or female 
adventuresses, or women inventoried and shipped as merchan- 
dise, are to be taken into account, it does not admit of question 
that my statement was open to criticism ; for it is well estab- 

1 3 Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. vii. p. 291. 

2 The Canadian Magazine, vol. xxiii. p. 338. 


lisbed that an occasional female here and there reached 
America with the expeditions sent out long before that which 
came to Plymouth. Parkman, for instance, with the caution- 
ary words u I give the tale as I find it," has handed down the 
highly apocryphal legend of the French damsel Marguerite, 
niece of the Sieur de Robeval, and her enforced winter's 
sojourn with her paramour in the Isle of Demons, as early as 
1542. Spanish women undoubtedly were sent, or found their 
way, across the Atlantic in the sixteenth century. Also, 
Bancroft alludes incidentally to " men, women and children" 
in Virginia as early as 1617. Speaking, however, of conditions 
there, he also says that up to 1620 " few women had dared to 
cross the Atlantic ; but now the promise of prosperity induced 
ninety agreeable persons, young and incorrupt, to embark for 
the colony, where they were assured of a welcome. They 
were transported at the expense of the company, and were 
married to its tenants, or to men who were able to support 
them, and who willingly defrayed the costs of their passage, 
which were rigorously demanded." This earliest speculation 
in domesticity succeeded so well, in fact, that in 1621 another 
like venture was made, consisting of sixty u maids of virtu- 
ous education, young, handsome, and well recommended." 
Marriageable young women were now quoted at " from 120 to 
150 pounds of tobacco, or even more ; so that all the original 
charges might be repaid. The debt for a wife was a debt of 
honor, and took precedence of any other." This was in 1621, 
a year subsequent to the Plymouth settlement; all according 
to Bancroft. Now I would by no means seem to ignore the 
fact that of late years history has a way of getting itself 
rewritten, and Bancroft is already a somewhat old, and so 
questionable, authority. But the statements in Bancroft on 
this head, if not invalidated, indicate that, though some women 
were among those settled in Virginia prior to 1620, yet most 
distinctly the family was not the unit of movement in emi- 
gration up to that time. Thus the point I made at Annapolis- 
Royal I still believe to have been in its essentials correct. If not 
correct, I would like to see evidence to the contrary produced. 
My assertion was, and is, that the one significant and distin- 
guishing feature of the Plymouth settlement, as contrasted with 
any previous settlement made on the American continent, 
north or south, was the all-essential feature that — a family 



affair, so to speak — women composed in it as large an element 
as men. The family was the unit of emigration ; and, until 
then, it never was its unit. 

So I take this occasion to suggest to our associate, Professor 
Hart, that an exhaustive monograph on this subject has never 
been prepared and is much needed. It would be of distinct 
value. That at this late day such a hiatus should exist, is 
somewhat curious. None the less, on the fact referred to the 
whole subsequent course of American development to a great 
extent turned ; for, owing to the absence of a due proportion 
of women, the French and Spanish emigration lacked the 
substance and staying power of the English settlement. The 
Canadian and Mexican half-breed was the result. For other 
causes, in the Virginia settlement the adventurer in both sexes 
predominated. Not until later was the family the unit. In 
this vital respect the initiative belonged to Plymouth. Such 
was my statement; but it has been challenged. What then 
are the facts? Here, I submit, is excellent matter for a thesis 
by some candidate for a Radcliffe College degree, whether of 
history or letters. Such a study would, moreover, be very 
opportune, and of special value now, inasmuch as during the 
next sixteen years a succession of commemorations will occur 
like that of Cuttyhunk, on the first of September, 1903, and 
those in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia last June ; the 
most prominent of the series, all commemorating settlements 
composed of males exclusively, being that to take place at 
Jamestown in 1907, that of the Popham Colony in Maine, 
also in 1907, and that of Quebec in 1908. Not one of them 
contained within itself the potency of self-perpetuation. 

Passing to other topics, time does not suffice for allusions 
even to the war now in progress in the East, or to the presi- 
dential election about to take place in this country. Recurring 
at once to the vacancies in our membership since we parted in 
June, I shall, in accordance with our custom in such cases, 
announce the deaths in order of their occurrence. 

Of the Resident Members, Dr. Donald died at Ipswich on the 
6th August. I shall presently call upon our associate, Mr. 
Allen, to offer an appreciation of him. In connection with 
this Society there is, of Dr. Donald, little to be said. Elected 
a member at the meeting of May 10, 1900, his name, at the 
time of his death, stood, in the order of seniority, seventy- 


eighth on the roll. Though not infrequently present at our 
meetings, he had never served on the Council or on any of 
our committees ; nor had he contributed to our Proceedings. 

It was much the same with Mr. Taft, who died at Pittsfield 
on the 22d of September. Elected at the 10th of May meet- 
ing of 1894, Mr. Taft's name stood, at the time of his death, 
forty-ninth on the roll. Living in Pittsfield, he naturally was 
an infrequent attendant at our meetings; nor am I aware that 
he ever contributed to our Proceedings. He represented a 
remote part of the Commonwealth ; and though taking a very 
considerable interest in historical matters connected with the 
portion of the Commonwealth in which he lived, did not here 
give expression to what he knew. Already, when chosen into 
the Society, a man advanced in life, at the time of his death he 
was in his eighty-sixth year. Our associate, Judge Barker, 
has prepared ail appreciation of him which will presently be 

With the third and last of those who have during the 
vacation period disappeared from our membership, — George 
Frisbie Hoar, —it is otherwise. Mr. Hoar was elected at the 
November meeting of 1886. He had therefore, at his death, 
been nearly eighteen years a member, standing twenty-third on 
our roll. At the time of his election he was already in his 
sixty-first year, and, after serving three terms in the national 
House of Representatives, had been oyer nine }-ears in the 
Senate. The traditions of the Society have never favored the 
election into it of members of the same family, and the fact 
that his elder brother, Judge E. R. Hoar, had been chosen as 
long ago as 1861, may have stood somewhat in the way of that 
earlier consideration which certainly was Senator Hoar's due. 
During the years that followed, owing to constant and con- 
scientious attendance on public duties at Washington, Mr. 
Hoar was naturally not a regular attendant at our meetings ; 
but when at home, he rarely failed to be present at them, and 
frequently took part in discussions which arose. This was 
notably the case at the May meeting of 1891, and the October 
meeting of the same year. Nearly alwa3 T s he attended our 
Annual Meetings. He served on our Historical Manuscripts 
Committee from 1898 to 1900 ; and, a year ago (January, 
1901) he found time to prepare and contribute to our printed 
Proceedings a memoir of his friend and cotemporary, the late 


Horace Gray. Bat though he greatly prized his membership 
here, he was, in connection with all matters historical, more 
peculiarly identified with a sister organization, the American 
Antiquarian Society ; and to its publications he contributed 
much which otherwise might ha ye enriched us. But in this, 
our loss has been another's gain. 

Senator Hoar was, however, too long and far too prominent 
in public life — too closely associated with the history of the 
Commonwealth — to be thus here dismissed. I shall presently 
call on his colleague in the Senate, and our long-time associate, 
Mr. Lodge, to offer the customary appreciation of one with 
whom he has so long and so intimately served. But before so 
doing, I claim the privilege of my position. I propose to say 
a few words of Senator Hoar generally, not as seen or listened 
to here, but of him viewed historically in his connection 
with Massachusetts. Unquestionably a large public figure, his 
death in my judgment marks the close of an epoch in Mas- 
sachusetts political history. He was the last of a distinct 
school of public men, — a school which came into existence 
about the year 1835, and which has since, until Mr. Hoar died, 
maintained an unbroken prominence. I refer to what may 
perhaps best be described as the Massachusetts Human-Rights 
statesmen, — a school which sought and found its inspiration 
in the great charter of our Independence, which instinctively 
went back to the rights of man as the basis of all political dis- 
cussion, and to which the dry tables of statistics and the prin- 
ciples of the economists had small attraction. Of this school 
Senator Hoar was representative, and with him it passes out 
of existence. This phase of his character and career I would 
like further to develop. 

After the close of the War of 1812 a distinct race of public 
men came into prominence in Massachusetts. Of that school 
Mr. Webster, Edward Everett, and Robert C. Winthrop might 
be accepted as the distinguishing types. The old Federalist 
organization had practically passed away with the treaty of 
Ghent, and Massachusetts then entered upon a new industrial 
career, — that of manufacturing, as contrasted with the com- 
mercial enterprise and the fishing industry characteristic of the 
earlier periods. Also, from being a community fixed in its 
opposition to the national government, and so strongly inclined 
towards the extreme doctrine of states rights as at times to 



verge on disloyalty, if not what later came to be known as 
treason, the Commonwealth became the leading exponent in 
the nation of the spirit of union and nationality. A different 
class of industrial and economical questions — issues connected 
with the tariff, banks, and internal improvements — also came 
into discussion. The public men of the period were highly 
educated, somewhat given to classic models of conduct and 
expression, and almost ostentatiously addicted to what is known 
as the " scholarly." For twenty years after the peace of 1815 
their supremacy practically was in no way challenged. 

It was in 1835 that the tremors of the coming earth move- 
ment were distinctly perceptible. That year saw both the 
Garrison mob in Boston, and the first struggle over the right 
of petition in Washington. The antislavery movement had 
begun ; and, as it gathered magnitude and gained in momen- 
tum, it was destined to produce a school of public men of its 
own. The growth of the new model was slow; but never- 
theless, from the first, apparent. Its earliest exponent^ J. Q. 
Adams, ceased to be a factor in active political life in 1815, 
and three years later died ; but, in 1845, Charles Sumner 
delivered in Boston that Fourth of July " True Greatness of 
Nations " oration which brought him into prominence. In 1851 
the new school, based upon human rights, dramatically asserted 
itself, when Robert Rantoul, Jr., first, and Charles Sumner 
afterwards, displaced Robert C. Winthrop, the lineal successor 
of Daniel Webster, in the Senate of the United States. From 
the disappearance of the Whig party, in 1851, may be dated 
the predominance of the new school in Massachusetts. Its lead- 
ing exponents were Charles Sumner, John A. Andrew, and, sub- 
sequently, George Frisbie Hoar. The last of the triumvirate 
has now passed away ; nor has his mantle fallen on another. 
Questions of a wholly new character have come to the front, and 
a new generation has succeeded. It may therefore, I think, 
even now safely be asserted as an historical fact that the phase 
of public thought which in 1835 first forced itself upon an 
unwilling Commonwealth in connection with the struggle over 
slavery, came to a close with the death of Senator Hoar on the 
30th of last month. It had outlasted two generations of public 
men. The passing of Mr. Hoar I therefore hold an occurrence 
of distinct historic significance. It marks for Massachusetts 
the close of an era. 



It only remains further to announce the death of John Foster 
Kirk, who died at Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, on the 3d of 
September. Mr. Kirk's name stood, at his death, second on our 
Corresponding roll, that of Gold win Smith only preceding it. 
In reality, however, he was our oldest Corresponding Member ; 
and but three names on our Resident list antedated his. First 
chosen at the February meeting, 1864, — Professor Cold win 
Smith being chosen eight months later, — Mr. Kirk became 
shortly after a citizen of Massachusetts, and in November, 1865, 
was elected a Resident Member. He remained such until he 
again, five years later, left the Commonwealth. He was then 
(December, 1870) re-elected a Corresponding Member, and has 
remained such since. Born at Frederickton, New Brunswick, 
he was at his death well advanced in his eighty-first year. 

It is now nearly fifty years since the death of William H. 
Prescott. There is no member of this Society living who was 
then (1859) a member of it; few hero even remember Mr. 
Prescott. Yet Mr. Kirk was the connecting link between him 
and us. I am not aware that Mr. Kirk lias ever attended a 
meeting of the Society since he left Massachusetts; certainly, 
I myself have never seen him at a meeting. None the less he 
was Mr. Prescott's literary secretary; and, when Prescott died, 
his mantle fell on Kirk. His History of Charles the Bold has 
not been forgotten ; and it was while acting as assistant of Mr. 
Prescott that he conceived the idea of that work. His death is 
suggestive of a generation of literary men of which few now 
remain ; though our associate, Mr. Hale, antedates him nearly 
two years in age, and over three years in his connection with the 

Rev. Dr. Alexander V. G. Allen, having been called 
on, spoke in substance as follows : — 

Dr. Donald was born in Andover in this State, July 31, 
1848. He was of Scotch parentage. His father, who was 
engaged in business at Andover, was a man of deep religious 
sentiment, reminding one in some measure of the father of 
Carlyle. Although bringing up his children with a seeming 
severity, with no show of affection in his manner, yet beneath 
his reserve toward them there beat a very tender heart. 
When his son became Rector of Trinity Church, the father 


went on one occasion to hear him preach. After service he 
found his way to the vestry and putting his hand on his son's 
shoulder, said, " My boy, you did well." It was the first time, 
said Dr. Donald, that his father had praised him ; he was so 
overcome by the praise that he felt like sinking to the floor. 

He was educated in the schools at Andover, going from 
there to Amherst College, where he graduated in 1869. The 
next two years were spent in teaching at Belchertown and 
Newport, Rhode Island. As a teacher he had more than a 
temporary success. Some of his pupils bore witness in later 
years to the permanent influence he had exerted on their lives. 
During his years in college he had sung in the choir of the 
Episcopal Church, which formed the beginning of his transi- 
tion from Scotch Presbyterianism to Anglican theology. In 
1871 he began his preparation for the Episcopal ministry 
at the Philadelphia Divinity School, but in consequence of 
some dissatisfaction or for other reasons, transferred himself 
to the Union Theological Seminary in New York, a Presby- 
terian institution, then known as " New School." The late 
Dr. Shedd was one of his teachers, for whose theology he felt 
only repulsion, but for the man a great admiration. Graduat- 
ing in 1874, he was the same year ordered deacon by Bishop 
Horatio Potter, and in 1875 admitted to the order of priest- 
hood. The year of his diaconate was spent as assistant to the 
late Rev. John Cotton Smith in the Church of the Ascension 
on Fifth Avenue, New York. He began very early to attract 
notice by his power as a preacher. In 1878 he was called to 
an important parish, at Washington Heights, New York, the 
Church of the Intercession. Here he remained till 1882, when 
he was invited, on the death of Dr. Cotton Smith, to become 
rector of the Church of the Ascension. In the fall of 1892 he 
succeeded the late Bishop Brooks at Trinity Church, Boston. 

The degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred on him by 
Amherst College in 1886. At the time of his death he was 
president of the Amherst alumni ; in which capacity it fell to 
him to induct into office Dr. Harris, the present distinguished 
head of that institution. The address of Dr. Donald on this 
occasion was a notable one. In 1897 he received the degree 
of LL.D. from the University of Western Pennsylvania. 
While rector of Ascension Church, he was made one of the 
trustees of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, an appoint- 



ment in which he took pride and interest, his knowledge of 
church architecture enabling him to render substantial assist- 
ance in determining the choice of a plan. His effectiveness 
as a preacher, combined with his interest in young men and 
the influence he exerted on them, led to many demands for 
his service from universities and colleges. Thus he was on 
the board of preachers at Harvard from 1892 to 1896. He 
preached often at Yale, Amherst, Columbia, Trinity, and the 
Institute of Technology. He had an annual appointment at 
Cornell in which he took great delight. He visited Tuskegee, 
and founded there a scholarship for public speaking. In 1903 
he spent three weeks at the Universit}^ of Chicago, officiating 
as chaplain and giving lectures. In 1896 he delivered a 
course of lectures before the Lowell Institute in Boston. 
These were afterwards published with the title " The Expan- 
sion of Religion." The Episcopal Church in Massachusetts 
conferred upon him high honors. He was made a member of 
the Standing Committee of the Diocese soon after coming to 
Boston, and then became its president, holding this office at 
his death. He was regularly elected as a delegate from 
Massachusetts to the General Convention. His election as 
a member of this Society in May, 1900, gave him great pleas- 
ure, and he greatly enjoyed his attendance at its meetings, 
making it a point to be present whenever it was possible. 

The many honors he received point to a man of no ordinary 
character and equipment. He was an eloquent preacher, 
combining with polished oratory a stjde which was rich, 
strong, and graceful. An artistic element ran through all 
his work, showing itself in his elocution and his fine rhetoric, 
apparent also in the ordering of the details of his life, and 
entering into little things. 

In his theology might be traced the effects of his reaction 
from Calvinism, while he also retained its positive influence 
in his strong grasp upon the sovereignty of the Divine Will. 
He would be classed as a Broad Churchman, but he differed 
from many who are grouped under that designation. His 
breadth consisted in his wide sympathy with all Christian 
bodies, which compelled him to reject every principle whose 
significance lay in limitation or exclusiveness. 

Intellectually he was alive and full of force and deep con- 
viction. He must needs know what was going on in the 


world ; he shrank from no criticism, whether biblical, scien- 
tific, or philosophical, if it were a genuine expression of human 
thought or feeling or inquiry ; he was able to adjust all such 
criticism with his own scheme of the purpose of religion or 
the meaning of life. He had what is sometimes called mod- 
ernity; he looked at every question from the point of view of 
the modern man, to whose cultivation the present age has 
contributed its essential quota. His thought was marked by 
a powerful individualism. From his reading, his studies, his 
observation of life he drew his own unhampered conclusions. 
He has given to us the world as he saw it, — not completely 
but fundamentally, in his book, " The Expansion of Religion " ; 
whether one agrees or not with his conclusion, he is impressed 
with its strength and vigor. He sometimes showed a tendency 
to the doctrinaire advocacy of principles, derived perhaps from 
Calvinist antecedents. But as a rule what he urges commends 
itself to the conscience and spiritual intelligence. 

In his character he was most generous and open-hearted, 
quick to see and to admire good in others, equally ready to 
proclaim it wherever found. He took pleasure in detecting 
the good in obscure and unsuspected quarters. He was un- 
selfish, disinterested ; especially was he honest in language and 
in action, keen in reading men, keen in discerning what was 
hollow or superficial, and apt at times to show his contempt 
by language and manner. And yet he did not fail in public 
utterance to respect the proprieties and conventionalities of 
the occasion. Because he was so strongly individualistic and 
outspoken in manner and word, he sometimes lacked in pru- 
dence and gave offence. But there was no taint of hypocrisy 
about him. 

His vigorous personality imparted at times a touch of eccen- 
tricity. One could not by any means infer what position he 
would take on disputed issues. Thus in New York, at a mo- 
ment when party feeling ran high, he created surprise and 
distrust by his defence of Tammany. At a meeting of the 
Church Congress in Providence, he manifested sympathy with 
some of the tenets of Christian Science. In politics he 
would be reckoned among the anti-imperialists. He once re- 
marked that he had too many Scotch " burrs" in his composi- 
tion to be popular. 

Most prominent among his characteristics was his courage. 


190-1.] TRIBUTES TO DR. DONALD. 383 

His courage was superb. It led him to defy deep-seated prej- 
udices and even convictions which were esteemed sacred. 
Thus, when the General Convention was in session at San 
Francisco in 1901, he dared to speak his mind on the subject 
of "Apostolic Succession," to the dismay and horror of many 
of the delegates. His action in throwing open Trinity Church 
to another religious body, on the occasion of the funeral of 
Governor Wolcott, was a courageous one, for it meant hostil- 
ity and bitter criticism. Of this he was well aware when he 
decided to take the step. 

His coming to Boston in 1892 to succeed Phillips Brooks 
was a decision reached after much hesitation. In New York 
he had attained distinction and influence ; in Boston he met 
obstacles in his career which he could not overcome. It may 
be he had lived too long in New York to be transplanted with 
the highest success. Although born in Massachusetts, he was 
not a New England man by descent. He lacked the advan- 
tage of infant baptism into the peculiar spirit of New England 
life. It fell to his lot in mature life, when his habits had been 
fixed and his reputation made elsewhere, to succeed a man 
whom Boston had takv.n to its heart as it had taken no one 
since the days of Channing. To find a successor to Phillips 
Brooks had been a serious, almost insoluble problem. In the 
case of Dr. Channing the gulf had been more easily bridged, 
for years of infirmity and gradual cessation from preaching 
had led to the placing of a young man by his side who had 
grown up under Channing's influence and was his devout 
disciple. A young man can easily do what to an older man 
is more difficult, — captivate the affections of the younger 
part of the congregation, winning his way into their confi- 
dence and allegiance, while those who live on the old and 
sacred memories are still pleased with a success in which they 
have no share. No one coming from New York could realize 
what Phillips Brooks had been to Boston, and more especially 
to Trinity Church. Hence the consciousness of a barrier 
might easily be developed, whose existence would naturally 
tend to limit freedom in the pulpit or to diminish the force 
of appeal. 

Dr. Donald's success in Boston was of a quality not easily 
estimated on the surface. None the less was it a success 
and of a high order. For ten years he maintained himself 


in his difficult position. His congregations were large, the 
number of communicants undiminished. Where he was pre- 
eminently successful was in his large and subtle power of 
sympathy. His yearning heart went out to the suffering 
and depression he encountered. That tendency in him to sym- 
pathize with the weaker party in the fight, to champion the 
unpopular cause, or befriend the unpopular man, was multi- 
plied fourfold in its application to human misery of any kind. 
For that he will be long and tenderly remembered. The 
delicacy of his sympathy could lead him to divine situations 
which words could not reach or expound. From this point of 
view his days were filled with victories and he came to the 
end triumphant. His last illness was long and painful. Con- 
fined to his house, it was not good for him that he sat at 
his window to watch the congregations of Trinity Church as 
they came and went. He did not have the " one clear call " 
which the poet invoked as a boon from heaven. Instead there 
was moaning at the bar as he put out to sea. For some nine 
weary months he lingered, not without hopes of recovery, and 
at times in great depression^ The end came on August 6, 
1904, in his summer home at Ipswich, and in the fifty-seventh 
year of his age. 

Rev. Dr. Edward E. Hale expressed his personal thanks 
for the admirable review which had been offered of Dr. 
Donald's life and work. He would like to say what no other 
person could say as he could, that Dr. Donald's work was 
very highly appreciated by his colleagues in the ministry in 
Boston of whatever communion. He addressed himself in 
that earnest and diligent way to all the church work of his 
profession so thoroughly and constantly that he was the best 
authority you could find as to the needs of the city in vari- 
ous departments of social order. 

He knew what he was talking about when he discussed the 
place and duties of people who were engaged in the various 
philanthropies, and whenever you were in doubt you had no 
authority so reliable as Dr. Donald's. 

Dr. Hale said that he thought all clergymen who knew Dr. 
Donald would resent any suggestion which implied that his 
work as a minister was in any sort second-rate or unsuccessful. 
On the other hand, he knew, as few men in his profession know, 



what the ministry of Christ is for, and he had a remarkable 
adaptation for successful work in a city like ours. His attach- 
ment to children and their attachment to him was most interest- 
ing. And it will be long, indeed, before we cease to hear the 
grateful expressions of persons in distress who had received 
spiritual, intellectual, or physical relief from his thoughtfulness 
and his untiring kindness. 

Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge read the following paper : — 

Thirty years have passed since I first met Senator Hoar, 
met him in the remote manner in which a young and very 
unimportant man meets a much older man already highly dis- 
tinguished in public life. I was first associated with him in a 
slightly nearer way six }^ears later, when I went as a delegate 
in 1880 to the Republican Convention at Chicago. That con- 
vention was probably the stormiest in our history, with the 
single exception of the famous one at Charleston in 1860, when 
the Democratic party went to pieces on the eve of the civil 
war. Over this deliberative body, rent with contending fac- 
tions, torn with political passion, and surrounded by twelve 
thousand excited and shouting spectators, Mr. Hoar, the leader 
of our delegation, was chosen to preside. The skill, power, 
calmness, and never-failing presence of mind with which he 
discharged this difficult task, and his really brilliant success 
made upon me a deep impression at the moment, an impression 
which has not been weakened in the least by the lapse of time. 

Six years later I was elected a member of Congress, and my 
intercourse with Mr. Hoar increased, for I saw him constantly 
on matters of legislation and upon business affecting the State 
we represented in our respective houses. 

Six years later again I was chosen to the Senate and became 
his colleague. For the past seven years I have sat beside him 
in the Senate, our committee rooms adjoined, and during all 
my service as Senator, now extending to nearly twelve years, 
I have lived with him in the closest intimacy. My predecessor, 
Mr. Dawes, had been a life-long friend of Mr. Hoar ; they had 
served together in the House and had been for eighteen years 
colleagues in the Senate. To have an old and accustomed 
friend suddenly replaced in this close relation by a man young 
enough to be his son and belonging to another generation must 



have been trying in many ways. But if it was so Mr. Hoar 
never manifested any sign of annoyance or disappointment or 
even coolness. From the first day of our association in the 
Senate he treated me with a thoughtful kindness and a 
generous consideration which I can never forget. As we 
came to know each other better, he admitted me to his friend- 
ship and showed for me an affection of which it is not easy for 
me to speak. I can only say that it was fully returned and 
that I tried to repay in some measure his great gift to me of 
confidence and affection. I soon learned that beneath a man- 
ner sometimes brusque and often absent-minded and apparently 
indifferent was concealed one of the warmest hearts that ever 
beat, one of the most tender and loyal natures which it has ever 
been my fortune to know. 

I have said thus much, perhaps too much, of my personal 
relations with Mr. Hoar merely to explain the difficulty under 
which I labor in trying to speak of him here to-day. His death 
is too recent, my last talk with him is too fresh in my memory, 
my sense of personal loss is yet too keen, to permit me to dis- 
cuss his great public service adequately, still less critically. I 
cannot yet approach him as an historic figure and a dis- 
tinguished statesman, I can only think of the man and the 
friend. I shall not try even to speak of his long and really 
great public service, of his work as a constructive statesman 
and law-maker, of his power in debate, or of his eloquence as 
displayed in speeches singularly vivid in expression, rich in 
apt allusions, and charged with feeling and imagination when 
he was deeply stirred. To give very imperfectly and very 
briefly the impression he made upon me as a friend and as a 
man is all I shall venture to attempt to-day. 

Mr. Hoar came of a family which had held an assured 
position and whose members were people of substance and 
importance in England for many generations before America 
was known. His immigrant ancestors were closely connected 
in blood with the Lady Alice Lisle whose fate is one of the 
famous tragedies of Jeffreys' u Bloody Assize." In the seven- 
teenth century one of Mr. Hoar's name and ancestry was 
President of Harvard College, and the tradition of sound 
learning was a heritage never lost by his descendants. On 
the mother's side Mr. Hoar was a grandson of Roger Sher- 
man, a remarkable member of a family most remarkable in 


successive generations in American history, and one of the 
most powerful and conspicuous among the great men who 
carried through the Revolution and founded the government 
of the United States. Bred up in Concord with such an 
ancestry and such traditions behind him, Mr. Hoar was 
almost of necessity a typical man. He was a New Eng- 
lander, a Puritan, as modified by the passing of the centuries, 
from "roof of head to sole of stocking." His love for his 
birthplace, for his people, for Massachusetts, was a passion 
which never slumbered and was never dimmed ; it yielded 
precedence only to that larger patriotism which found ex- 
pression in his life-long devotion to the fortunes and the 
service of the United States. 

Mr. Hoar was born and brought up in a period of revolution 
and reform. The forces set in motion by the American Revo- 
lution which wrought the revolution in France had worn 
themselves out under Napoleon and had been arrested at 
Waterloo. The period of reaction set in, — the period of the 
Metternichs and the Castlereaghs, of the Eldons and the 
Liverpools, — and a mighty effort was made, with a stupidity 
equalled only by the confidence with which it was under- 
taken, to resurrect a dead system and a vanished society. The 
opposing current, momentarily checked, soon began to flow 
again. Men recovered their breath and started in to complete 
the unfinished work of the French Revolution. The liberation 
of Greece, the monarchy of July, the English reform bill, 
Italian conspiracies, the aspirations of Hungary, the unrest in 
Poland, the verse of Byron, the dramas of Hugo and Dumas, 
the novels of Dickens, the experiment of Brook Farm, the 
transcendentalism of Concord, the antislavery crusade, were 
all manifestations of the restless spirit which agitated America 
and western Europe. Everything was called in question, and 
the ferment was felt in literature and religion as well as in 
politics and society. This new movement culminated in 1848, 
and out of much apparent failure came a united Italy, con- 
stitutional government in all of Europe west of Russia and 
Turkey, the development of the German Empire, the destruc- 
tion of American slavery, and the consolidation of the United 
States, the most important single event of the nineteenth 

The keynote of the whole of this great movement, literary, 


religious, social, and political, was belief in the perfectibility of 
humanity. Give human beings a chance, free them from the 
artificial trammels which evil laws and pernicious customs had 
cast about them, and no matter what race they belonged to or 
what their past had been, all would be well. How much that 
movement, driven forward by faith in humanity, accomplished, 
it is not easy to estimate. But the wrongs and burdens which 
it swept away were known only to the generation which had 
endured them. The succeeding generation had never felt the 
hardships and oppressions which had perished, but were keenly 
alive to all the evils and misfortunes which survived. Hence 
the inevitable tendency to doubt the worth of any great move- 
ment which has come, done its work and gone, asserted itself; 
for there are no political or social panaceas, although mankind 
never ceases to look for them. To a period of enthusiasm 
and faith resulting in great changes and great benefits to 
humanity a period of scepticism and reaction almost always 
succeeds. The work goes on, what has been accomplished 
is made sure, much good is done, but the spirit of the time 

Mr. Hoar lived and labored and achieved in both periods, 
but he was always a man of '48. Experience may have shown 
limitations to the hopes of those days, scepticism and criticism 
may have assailed the beliefs then cherished, but the faith was 
a noble one, the beliefs, the hopes, the visions if you will, were 
great and generous, inspirations always to a noble conduct of 
life, and from those beliefs and hopes Mr. Hoar never swerved. 
Mr. Hoar was an idealist, and he had seen so many of the 
visions of his youth turned to realities that he had good reason 
for the robust optimism which never deserted him. Yet he 
was no impracticable dreamer. Macaulay, in a familiar pas- 
sage, says that Cromwell's soldiers " moved to battle with the 
precision of machines, burning with the fanaticism of crusa- 
ders." In the Puritan character the ideal and the practical 
went hand in hand, and Mr. Hoar was the child of the Puri- 
tans. He was unfaltering in his ideals, he gave his life to 
their service, but with the idealism were joined strong prac- 
tical sense, great shrewdness of judgment, a profound aver- 
sion to change merely for the sake of change, and an equally 
profound reverence and affection for precedent and for the 
principles of conduct and government which had been estab- 


lished slowly and painfully through the long history of the 
English-speaking people. 

As it was in his public, so it was in his private life. The 
words "plain living and high thinking" seem to serve to-day 
chiefly as a familiar quotation. Tiie desire for plain living 
just now appears to be slight, even if high thinking is supposed 
to go with it. But in Mr. Hoar's youth this sentence was not 
a phrase but a reality, and his whole life exemplified it in 
practice. He said more than once that he had sacrificed to the 
public service every opportunity to make money, and that all 
he had accumulated were a few books, but there was no bitter- 
ness in the utterance. He had, in truth, a fine indifference to 
money. Whenever he received a large legal fee it all went, I 
think, in books and prints and in a quiet charity ever beyond 
his means, where the left hand never knew what the right 
hand was doing. He too, as Bishop Blougram says of Shake- 

" Saved money, spent it, knew the worth of things," 

although, I think, in Mr. Hoar's case there was but little 
saving attempted. He neither envied riches nor despised them. 
He was simply indifferent to them. His heart was set on 
other and nobler things, and in his life he achieved his heart's 
desire in a measure not given to many in this world of ours. 

In his relations with men and women the same combination 
of qualities was apparent as in his attitude upon great public 
questions and in regard to the duties and the obligations of 
the nation and the state. 

Like all vigorous men who are effective in life and hold 
strong opinions, he had enemies with whom in their season he 
fought many battles, and he was a fearless antagonist who 
struck hard. He had a wide acquaintance, embracing practi- 
cally all the men who had held high place in public life or had 
won distinction at the bar or in literature during nearly half a 
century. His judgment of the men he had known in this way 
was keen and shrewd, just and generous even when they had 
been his opponents, and yet by no means easy or over-lenient. 
But when he had once admitted a man within the circle of his 
affections he could see no fault in him and idealized him at once. 
Those who have read his autobiography or have talked much 
with him know how he would depict and praise those whom 
he loved or to whom he felt a personal gratitude, using all 


that vividness of phrase which came so easily to him and which 
made what he said strike home so deeply. No doubt he lifted 
these friends of his heart in many cases far above the place the 
world would accord to them ; but the mistake, if it was one, 
was so illumined by loyalty and generosity that one could onl T ' 
do homage to those beautiful qualities which it is to be hoped 
will never go out of fashion. 

As he grew older, he grew always gentler and kinder. The 
caustic and ready wit was more and more replaced by the un- 
failing and kindly humor which had gone side by side with it 
through life. He buried the old conflicts, all but one, of which 
he left public record, because he thought it was a public duty 
to do so. The sharp encounters of debate were never avoided, 
but biting words, if they were uttered, were withdrawn quickly, 
and he would suffer no hostility or coolness to linger in the 
minds of any of his colleagues. As the shadows lengthened, 
the ideals of friendship, the natural tenderness of his affection, 
his hopes for humanity, his fervent faith in the future and the 
mission of the American people grew stronger and more 

So the end came as he wished it to come to him, and w r as 
met by him with the courage which had gone with him 
through life. 

In the necessary absence of Hon. James M. Barker, Rev. 
Dr. De Normandie read an estimate of Mr. Taft which Judge 
Barker had prepared. 

Henry W. Taft, of Pittsfleld, was made a Resident Member 
of the Society in the year 1894. He died at Pittsfleld on Sep- 
tember 22, 1904. 

Had he lived in Boston, or in its immediate neighborhood, 
he would have been constant in his attendance, and would have 
taken an effective and valuable part in the work of the Society. 
But his election did not come until he had reached the ao~e of 
seventy -six. During his membership he never was able to 
make the journey from his home to the place of meeting, and 
so has taken no share in the active work of the Society. 

Yet no one should feel that Mr. Taft's election to member- 
ship was unfortunate. The Society has Massachusetts for its 
field, and it is well to have among its members some men from 


the more distant sections of the State. He was generally and 
favorably known in Western Massachusetts, where he was 
thought to be of a temper, character, and standing which made 
him worthy of association with a learned Society, and to have 
a keen taste for historical subjects and research, and great 
familiarity with the events and men of that region. So his 
membership stood to his neighbors as a proof of the high aims 
and the usefulness of the Society itself. 

Born in Sunderland, and the son of a lawyer who was 
town clerk and kept the town records in his home, he early 
acquired a love for ancient documents, and became accustomed 
to genealogical and historical investigations. He wrote easily 
and in good English. When eighteen years of age, he was 
brought to Lenox, in Berkshire, to edit a Whig newspaper. 
From that time until his death he was before the eye of the 
people of the county, and held rank as an accomplished, influ- 
ential, and respected citizen. 

Born in the }^ear 1818, he was admitted to the bar in 1841 ; 
from 1856, when he succeeded Charles Sedgwick, until 1897, 
he was clerk of the courts for the county of Berkshire. His 
long tenure of this office brought him into close touch with 
the people and the officials of the county, and also gave him 
an intimate acquaintance with the justices of the Supreme 
Judicial Court and the Superior Court, and with many of the 
more prominent members of the bar of the State, who from 
time to time were called into the peculiar and important causes 
to which the mining and manufacturing interests of the county 
and its location, bordering upon three States, gave rise. 

His knowledge of law was extensive and thorough, and his 
temper, manners, and appearance, and his fairness and sense of 
justice, were such as often to lead to the mention of his name 
as one fitted for judicial position. On at least three occasions 
the bar of his county, with great earnestness and unanimity, 
recommended him to the Governor for appointment to the 
bench. On each occasion his eminent fitness for such an 
office was conceded by the executive, although, for reasons 
of localit}% the appointment was made from another section. 

His knowledge of law and his probity and good judgment 
made him sought after for places of trust. He was the presi- 
dent and legal adviser of the Stockbridge and Pittsfield Rail- 
road Company, the president of the Third National Bank of 


Pittsfield, a vice-president of the Berkshire Life Insurance 
Company, a director of the Housatonic National Bank and of 
other important moneyed institutions, and a trustee of many 
large estates. 

His literary ability and his general high standing in the 
community were attested by Williams College in the confer- 
ring upon him in the year 1859 of the honorary degree of 
Master of Arts. He gave great service to the library of the 
town of Lenox during his residence in that place, and to the 
Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield up to the time of his death. 
But his chief favorite among such institutions was the Library 
and Historical Society of his native town of Sunderland, and 
to this he contributed generously both in historical work and 
in money. He was also a member of the Antiquarian Society 
at Worcester. 

Mr. Taft was married twice, and twice was a widower. He 
left no issue. During his later years his loneliness gave a 
tinge of tender melancholy to his thought and talk. He read 
and meditated deeply upon religion, and led a consistent 
Christian life, as a member of the Congregational Church at 
Lenox, and afterward a member and deacon of the First 
Church at Pittsfield. 

In person he was tall and slender, somewhat deliberate in 
movement, and in jnanner kindly and gracious, but dignified. 
He had abundant humor, and a fund of folk-lore and anecdote, 
and his conversation was interesting and instructive, and often 
delightful. His written style was good, both in serious pro- 
ductions dealing with public events and historical subjects, and 
in lighter occasional pieces, which he often wrote in verse. 

Had he devoted his time to literature he would have gained 
reputation as an author. If he had been able to take an active 
part in the work of this Society, it would have been decidedly 
to the pleasure and advantage of his fellow members. As it 
is, his membership in the opinion of the residents of Western 
Massachusetts has shed honor upon the Society. 

Hon. Samuel A. Green presented in the name of Hon. 
William A. Courtenay, a Corresponding Member, a beauti- 
fully bound and unique volume containing numerous original 
documents and facsimiles relating to the History of South 
Carolina, together with a printed copy of the " Moultrie- 


Montague Letters" for each member of the Society, and read 
the following letter: — 

Hon. Samuel A. Green, Librarian, and the Officers and Members of the 

Massachusetts Historical Society : 

Gentlemen, — Eighteen years ago, you did me the honor to enroll 
my name as a Corresponding Member of your influential Society : I 
expressed my thanks and high appreciation of your action at the time, 
but I have felt ever since, that I should like to make a more tangible 
acknowledgment of the distinction conferred upon me. 

The people of our respective States were then much divided in opin- 
ion and conduct, and I therefore awaited a more propitious season, 
hoping that with the passing years there would ensue a mutual mod- 
eration of extreme views, and that a more favourable opportunity might 
present itself. 

It seems to me such a period has been reached. The recent public 
utterances of your distinguished President, marked by liberality of view, 
and conciliatory in tone, have already elicited reciprocal responses from 
different parts of the South-land. He has recently been received in 
Charleston as an honored guest, and I have concluded that the time is 
opportune to gratify my earlier purpose. 

These promising occurrences emphasize the truth of the poet's lines, — 
" The thoughts of men are widen 'd with the process of the Suns." 

History is always repeating itself. In the first half of the last cen- 
tury, it was the habit to denounce the Tories of the Revolution in very 
harsh terms ! They certainly had embittered the contest in our State, 
creating a civil war condition ; yet at the end General Francis Marion, 
Dr. Ramsay the historian, and many prominent citizens voted against 
the confiscation of their property, on the ground that they were to live 
with us as neighbours, and that strife should then cease, with the 
advent of peace ! 

So in the address before the South Carolina Historical Society in 
1858 our great citizen, the late James Louis Petigru, gave expression to 
this truthful and beautifully phrased thought. Mr. Bancroft, the his- 
torian, was present as a guest. 

" Zeal in behalf of our country and our country's friends is commend- 
able, and patriotism deservedly ranks among the highest virtues. But 
even virtue may be pushed to excess, and the narrow patriotism that 
fosters an overweening vanity, and is blind to all merit except its own, 
stands in need of the correction of reason ! It is not true that all the 
virtue of the country was in the Whig camp in the Revolution." 

Within the last two decades a statue to Cromwell has been erected 
in London by permission of the House of Commons ! and in our 
country, in the same period, a trending is visible in the direction of 



recognizing in General R. E. Lee a distinguished American citizen and 
soldier, although a Virginian ! Under these changed and promising 
conditions of amity and good will Massachusetts and South Carolina, 
recognized leaders in the "old thirteen," might well become exemplars 
to all our States, now destined not only to live under one Government, 
but with a future of unrivalled promise. It would seem the part of 
wisdom and patriotism for each to become very tolerant. 

" Be to each other's virtues very kind : 
Be to each other's faults a little blind." 

In this spirit I have prepared a special edition of the Moultrie- 
Montague correspondence, 1781, which recalls that far-off past of duty 
and patriotism, and some related matters, for the use of the members 
of your ancient and useful Society. These copies will come to you 
enveloped and ready for the mail. 

I have culled from my Library some historical material, enough to 
make a folio volume, of rare and interesting records relating to our 
State, much of which will be new in text and illustration. The volume 
bears the simple title South Carolina. 

I meution specially au original printed copy of the Act of Parlia- 
ment, making South Carolina a Royal Colony 1719-75, and a fac- 
simile copy of '• The South-Carolina Gazette " of date June 13, 1775, 
containing the Meckle7iburg Declaration of May 31, 1775, as first pub- 
lished — copied from the original newspaper in the Charleston Library 
Society's large and invaluable collection of early Carolina newspapers. 

I esteem it equally a privilege and pleasure to make these gifts, and 
with all good wishes for the future of your Society, I remain 
Yours very respectfully, 

Wm. A. Courtenay. 

Newry, S. C, June 28 ; 1904. 

Dr. Green also read the following communication from 
Mr. Charles H. Hart, a Corresponding Member : — 

Some Notes concerning John Norman, Engraver. 

I have read with more than common interest Dr. Green's 
" Remarks on the Boston Magazine . . . and John Norman, 
Engraver," made before the Society at its meeting, May 12, 
and think that I can add some notes of importance relative to 

It seems not to have been known to Dr. Green that John 
Norman was an engraver and publisher in Philadelphia before 
he worked in Boston. Whether or not he was a native of Phila- 
delphia I do not know, as I have been able to trace him only 


through his plates and publications. In my recent " Catalogue 
of the Engraved Portraits of Washington," published by the 
Grolier Club. New York, there will be found recorded no less 
than six plates bearing Norman's name, while two others, 
without his name, I ascribe to his hand. Those bearing his 
name are Hart 42, 43, 44, 57, 288, and 761; and those 
ascribed by me are Hart 41 and 45. Hart 57 will be found 
in the " Boston Magazine," for April, 1784. He had two 
partnerships in Philadelphia : " Walters & Norman," 1779, 
and " Norman & Bed well," 1780. 

The earliest date I have found Norman in Philadelphia is 
1775, in which year he engraved a plate for " The Prussian 
Evolutions in Actual Engagements," by Thomas Hanson. The 
next year he produced the " Death of Warren," as a frontis- 
piece to a drama, ascribed to Hugh Henry Brackenridge, and 
entitled " The Battle of Bunker Hill," Philadelphia, Robert 
Bell, 1776. The design for this plate was by « N. G.," who- 
ever he may have been. This plate Dr. Justin Winsor, in his 
" Critical History " (VI. 198 n.*), says " is held to be the earliest 
engraving in British America by a native artist." This is 
surely an unaccountable slip, with Hurd, Revere, and Copley 
at his elbow, to say nothing of our ignorance as to the birth- 
place of Norman. 

In 1779 Norman engraved a frontispiece and twenty-eight 
folding plates for a " Treatise on Artillery," by John Muller, 
which he dedicated to Washington and Knox ; and the fol- 
lowing year he engraved and published a sheet, "Philadelphia 
Almanack for the Year of our Lord 1780," with a portrait of 
Washington (Hart, 42) at the head. In 1781 he engraved 
the title and music for "The Psalm-singer's Amusement," 
which was published in Boston. We may therefore safely 
ascribe the time of Norman's removal from Philadelphia to 
Boston as 1780-81. 

Norman's best known plate is a portrait of Washington 
(Hart, 43) from an original picture in possession of his Excel- 
lency Governor Hancock, 1 which, with a companion portrait 
of Mrs. Washington, was "Published by John Coles, Boston, 
March 26th, 1782." Until within a score of years there was 

1 Is the present whereabouts known of this original portrait of Washington, 
that belonged to John Hancock'? It was painted by Charles Willson Peale, and 
would be a most desirable find. Peale likewise painted a miniature of Hancock, 
which also would be a valuable acquisition. 


but one impression known of this plate, which was owned by 
Mr. Charles Folsom, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since then 
several prints have been found ; but so highly are they prized 
that a pair of the prints sold at the Carson sale in Philadelphia, 
January 21, 1904, for $540. Norman's most important and 
largest engraving that I know, measuring 29.2 by 20.8, en- 
graved on two plates, was after Trumbull's picture of " The 
Battle of Bunkers Hill" ; and his best plate that 1 have seen 
was a whole-length portrait of Washington (Hart, 288), after 
Stuart's Lansdowne picture, measuring 19.3 by 13.2. Al- 
though Norman engraved quite a number of plates, his prints, 
for some unaccountable reason, as the printing press multiplied 
impressions, are all exceedingly scarce ; of some of them only 
single impressions being known. I hope other members may 
be able to add to what Dr. Green and I have told of this early 
American engraver. 

Mr. Albert B. Hart said : — 

A few days ago my excellent and long-time friend, Pro- 
fessor Wuarin of the University of Geneva, returning from the 
World's Congress at St. Louis, put in my hands a brief 
announcement of the proposed monument to Calvinistic 
•Reformers to be erected at Geneva in 1909. This official 
statement is as follows : — 

Looking forward to the fourth Centennial of the birth of Calvin, a 
provisional committee of Genevese citizens has been created to con- 
sider the possibility of erecting a monument at Geneva in 1909 com- 
memorative of the Calvinistic Reform. In view of the international 
character which ought to be given to such a memorial, so that it may 
be as widespread as possible, and so that the proposed monument may 
take a dignified place alongside that of the statue of Luther at Worms, 
the provisional committee is anxious to secure the contingent support 
of persons interested in the project, in France, in Holland, in Hungary, 
and in all Anglo-Saxon countries. 

[Signed] Lucien Gautier, 


Eugene Choisy, D.D., 
Charles Borgeaud, 
Gaspard Gillette, 
Phillippe Amourier, 
Lucien Cramer, 
Provisional Genevan Committee. 


The plan as described to me by Professor Wuarin is to erect 
a monument in which the principal figures shall be Calvin, 
Beza, and John Knox, but which shall also include subsidiary 
figures or reliefs of other great Calvinistic divines. It is im- 
possible for a New Englander not to conceive the hope that 
among that body of disciples and disseminators of the doctrines 
of the great Genevan might be included our own Jonathan 
Edwards, who in the rigidity of his doctrines and the benignity 
of his private life much resembled his prototype. At any rate, 
it seems suitable that a movement to commemorate John 
Calvin, the spiritual and political father of New England the- 
ocracy, should be known in the Massachusetts Historical 
Society ; and that when the general world committee is 
formed, some members of that Society should co-operate. 

Mr. William W. Goodwin, in some amusing remarks, 
inquired whether there is any authority for the statement 
alluded to by the President that Mary Chilton was the first 
person to land on Plymouth Rock. 

Hon. Daniel H. Chamberlain, speaking extemporane- 
ously, and referring to the introductory remarks of the 
President, paid a brief tribute to the members, his personal 
friends, who had died during the two years and a half since 
he had been able to attend a meeting of the Society, and 
expressed his satisfaction at seeing in place of them others 
equally well known to him. As he proposed going abroad 
soon for the benefit of his health, he had come here to-day 
from the South at a good deal of trouble and inconvenience 
to meet with the Society once more before a long absence. 
He then spoke of the discussion which had followed the 
publication of his paper on " The Historical Conception of 
the United States Constitution," read before the Society in 
May, 1902, adding : " I am going to observe for the benefit of 
my friends, Professor Channing aud Professor Hart, that there 
has just appeared a new school history of the United States by 
Professor Henry Alexander White, now of Columbia, South 
Carolina, formerly of Washington and Lee University. In the 
text of that book, at the appropriate place, Professor White 
says in substance, — I cannot give you the exact language, I can 
give you the substance, — that it was undoubtedly the under- 
standing of a great majority of the people of the United States 


at the time of the adoption of the Constitution that any State 
could peaceably withdraw if it chose to do so. Well, now, 
an expression of opinion of that kind cannot easily be denied. 
It is the privilege of any one to express an opinion and to hold 
an opinion, even although he cannot support it and it is un- 
founded ; but Professor White himself added a note to tins 
passage, in which he says distinctly that New York and 
Virginia expressly reserved the right to withdraw from the 
Union. Now, everybody who has investigated the matter 
knows that in New York the precise opposite was the fact, — 
that propositions to adopt the Constitution on condition that 
certain amendments were adopted, and various other con- 
ditional motions were made and were finally voted down ; 
and New York ratified the Constitution unconditionally after 
a long contest, in which Mr. Madison's famous letter appeared 
as an influential factor. In Virginia the case is not much 
better for Professor White ; for in Virginia the most that 
those men did who were so strongly opposed to the adop- 
tion of the Constitution, Mr. Henry, Mr. Mason, and their 
followers, — -the most that they did was to put on record, as 
preliminary to their unqualified adoption of the Constitution, 
the expression of certain opinions, and those opinions, it is 
curious to notice, do not even squint at secession. In those 
opinions the principal position is this, that as the powers 
conferred by the Constitution have been derived from the 
people of the United States, therefore, in their opinion, the 
people of the United States may withdraw them. Well, that 
is not State Secession, that does not hint at State Seces- 
sion. Not to dwell longer on Professor White's book, in 
spite of books of ' original sources,' and of so-called scientific- 
styles of writing history, that seems to be ' history as she 
gets writ.' " 

Mr. Chamberlain then briefly discussed the so-called Negro 
Question, mainly on the lines of his Open Letter to the Rt. 
Hon. James Bryce, a copy of which had been sent to every 
member of the Society, saying in conclusion, " I should have 
been glad to have read a paper, but really my health and 
strength have not been equal to it, and scarcely to this little 
effort of speaking to you for a few minutes." 

Mr. Chamberlain's remarks elicited a short discussion in which 
the President, Messrs. Gamaliel Bradford, Charles P. 


Bowditch, Albert B. Hart, and Mr. Chamberlain took 

Mr. Franklin B. Sanborn said : — 

I have been known through my short life as a pacificator, 
and I rise to introduce a more pacific subject. I hold in my 
hand, Sir, a remarkable document which I do* not propose to 
present to the Historical Society at this time, but will leave 
it here for the examination of members. It is the first map of 
New Hampshire and a portion of Canada, which was made by 
a native of New England, and it never has been engraved. 
It is a manuscript original (1756) of Dr. Langdon's and 
Colonel Blanchard's map which afterwards took form in a large 
map engraved at London in 1761. This original is from the 
Congressional Library at Washington, where Dr. Gay has 
taken the trouble to photograph it, and it presents the un- 
explored and uninhabited portions of Vermont and Canada 
in a way that has never been exhibited in any other map. 
After the members of the Society have examined it, I hope 
that the Society may in some future time make an engraving 
of it. It relates to the matter which I introduced at a recent 
meeting of the Society, — the letter of Captain Folsom de- 
scribing a fight with the Indians near Lake George. Colonel 
Blanchard, who was engaged in that campaign, joined with 
Dr. Langdon the year following this fight in preparing this 
map. It does not exist in England, I am told, and in this 
form has never been engraved. There is also another map 
made almost at the same time, but from the other side of the 
Canadian line, which exists in the War Department at Paris 
and which also has not been engraved ; and if we have any 
Resident or Correspondent members in Paris I wish they 
might take the trouble to look up the other map. It was 
made by a gentleman who, during the French and Indian 
War, being a French officer serving in the campaign against 
Blanchard and Folsom, made a map of Canada covering a 
considerable portion of New England. Now I think it would 
be of historical interest to bring those maps together and 
have them engraved here. I think they are quite unknown 
to historical students, except those who happened to inves- 
tigate this particular gentleman's career in France and in 
America, or those who know the scientific work of Dr. 
Samuel Langdon. 


Mr. Josiah P. Quincy communicated the memoir of the 
late Edmund Quincy which he had been appointed to prepare 
for publication in the Proceedings. 

Remarks were also made during the meeting by Rev. Dr. 
Edmund F. Slafter and Mr. Edward Channing. 

A new serial* of the Proceedings, comprising the record of 
the May and June meetings, was ready for distribution ; and 
it was stated that the first volume of the selection from the 
Heath Papers would be ready at the November meeting. 


y?ru^^y i^/^u^ 






Standing with Edmund Quincy before a long shelf laden 
with the complete works of Sir Walter Scott, I remarked that 
the mere manual labor of writing all these volumes seemed no 
slight monument to their author's perseverance and industry. 
To which came the reply, " Why, I have written much more 
than Scott ever did, — that is to say, in quantity. Only in 
quality it will generally be considered that he gets the better 
of me." 

The effective work of the subject of these pages must be 
looked for in his writings for the press. During the most fruit- 
ful period of his life he expended such power as was in him in 
contributions to that " compound of rags, oil, and lampblack" 
which so largely directs our hurrying human current into 
channels of evil or of good. The desire to influence others, and 
thus to expand our own personality, is a common stimulus to 
action. But it is not the common man who, accepting the 
Puritan gospel of Independency, will put aside the pacific gar- 
ment of compromise and deliver a message utterly distasteful to 
the fastidious, well-meaning, and lettered class in which he nat- 
urally belongs. Contribution by editorial writing or by corre- 
spondence to the "Anti-Slavery Standard," the "Liberator," 
the "Non-Resistant," the "New York Tribune," the "Albany 
Transcript," the "Independent," and other journals, was the 
serious work of Edmund Quincy. It was largely work beneath 
the surface in ways that were neither conspicuous nor gainful. 
His ready wit and reach of literary vivacity sometimes led him 
into expressions not acceptable to the philosopher or college 



professor. They were as little palatable to the conservatism 
dominant among the well-to-do, and easily frightened the timid 
folk who think that no chance of political betterment can be 
worth the risk that may attend it. But the point and trenchant 
criticism in his writing made it eminently readable, and this, 
after all, is the necessary condition of effective journalism. 

Edmund Quincy was born in Boston on the first day of 
February, 1808. His early education was such as was attainable 
at the Phillips Academy at Andover, — an institution which his 
father, judging from his own experience, thought well adapted 
to develop desirable qualities in his sons. But Edmund was a 
sensitive youth who did not take kindly to the methods of 
this orthodox establishment, and felt an aversion to all that 
was characteristic in its discipline. In his sixteenth year he 
passed on to Harvard College, whence he graduated in the class 
of 1827. Although decidedly social and even convivial in his 
tastes, he attained such honors as went with one of the less 
conspicuous parts at Commencement. He assisted in what was 
called "a literary discussion" — the subject being, "Changes 
in English Style since the Time of Milton." After graduation 
he did something that passed for studying law and was ad- 
mitted to the bar under conditions less stringent than they are 
at present. He never practised the legal profession, though in 
one of his letters he alludes to the days when he made a pretence 
of doing so. " I am a reformed lawyer," he once replied to 
the question of a pertinacious attorney who was examining 
him as a witness in some civil case. 

For several years Quincy seems to have led the life of a 
student of literature and of public affairs ; he was also known 
as a genial man-about-town, a popular diner-out, and a valued 
addition to the easy-going society of his native city. He passed 
for the good citizen of well-balanced common sense who would 
hesitate to sacrifice immediate interests for soarings among the 
sublimities of ethics. He was not suspected of any liking for 
that Gordian solution of human perplexities which can see 
nothing in the moral universe save two sharp points of right 
and wrong. He married a lady of the highest worth who added 
all that a wife can contribute to the sunshine and uplifting of 
her husband's life. Nobody supposed that he would leave the 
comfortable fireside of tradition to encounter the tempestuous 
atmosphere which lies beyond it. And then came that sudden 


change of outlook — that quickened sense of a work to be 
done — which we imperfectly represent by the word "con- 
version." The murder of Lovejoy exposed the nature of 
slavery, and keyed up to resolute action sentiments that read- 
ing and observation had cautiously developed ; they suddenly 
stiffened to principles and united in an imperative demand. 

Edmund Quincy thought it one of the privileges of his life 
to have come within the influence of William Lloyd Garrison. 
This stubborn leader in social and moral advance was well 
characterized by John M. Forbes as " a Radical with a sub- 
stratum of common sense and practical wisdom," and by a 
lady quite as happily, if somewhat paradoxically, as the least 
Garrisonian of the Garrisonians. He accepted at their full 
value premises which neither State nor Church cared to deny, 
and pressed them to what seemed to him their necessary con- 
clusion. He might well have taken as his motto the title of 
one of Robert Browne's books, " Reformation without Tarrying 
for Any." To relieve the Northern States from any complicity 
with Slavery was the work that commanded his tireless 
allegiance. Upon those susceptible to its influence, he 
exerted the magnetism of one of the rare personalities which 
distinctly modify the trend of human affairs. I recall the 
deferential tone in which Quincy was wont to utter the 
words, "My revered friend Mr. Garrison" — and this in 
circles where this friend, with all that he represented, w T as 
held in abhorrence. 

Through his connection with the Abolitionists, Quincy 
attained the luxury of what seemed to him a strictly logical 
conscience. Anticipating Tolstoi, he accepted the teaching 
of Christ at the full value of its most stringent requirements. 
He would mingle no alloy of concession with the golden pre- 
cepts proclaimed in the Sermon on the Mount. He demanded 
not only the immediate abolition of slavery and the cessation 
of all preparations for war, but absolute non-resistance to 
assaults of any nature. He denounced not only the use of 
alcoholic liquors, but held up as conspicuous sinners men of 
high consideration who offered wine at their dinner-tables. 
Compromise in this matter he considered impossible. Writing 
of a sermon preached by Theodore Parker on his return from 
Europe in 1844, he says : " He told the old story of there not 
being drunkards in the wine countries, which has been so often 


repeated, and strengthened the hands of the wine-drinkers so 
far. I could tell him that I have seen men as drunk on hock 
as they could have been on new rum." 

In 1839 Quincy became an editor of "The Non-Resistant," 
a journal which maintained that the commandment " Resist 
not evil," which it displayed as a motto, should be obeyed 
without limitation or reservation. He returned to Governor 
Everett his commission as justice of the peace, being unable to 
fulfil the oath required of the holder of that office. Many 
years later, in a controversy with Lucius Manlius Sargent, he 
thus stated his position : 

" He [Mr. Sargent] mistakes nay scruples as to oath-taking. I have 
none against taking an oath which I mean to keep — as to tell the 
truth or to perform a trust. My objection is to an oath which I can- 
not conscientiously observe. This was the reason of my resignation of 
the commission of the peace to which he alludes. When I came to 
consider that I held it under an oath to do certain things enjoined in 
the Constitution (the rendition of fugitive slaves, for instance) which I 
was deliberately resolved never to do, I had nothing for it but to resign 
an office which I could hold only by virtue of an oath that I felt bound 
to break on the first opportunity. . . . That act . . . still appears to 
me one of very simple morality ." 

Edmund Quincy felt that neither slavery nor any other 
wrong could exist if professed Christians were willing to 
accept, in their literal meaning, the precepts of their Master as 
given in the fifth chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew. The 
philosopher may tell us that an existing social condition can be 
modified only by a very gradual process, and that the New 
Testament should be " edited " with a blue-pencil mark drawn 
through those requirements of Christ which will not assimilate 
with human nature as at present developed. And yet the 
value of the leader who will countenance nothing less than the 
ideal conception of duty has always been recognized — at 
least in generations succeeding his own. He ass'erts potential- 
ities which he believes to be inherent in the nature of man, 
and — if we are indeed moving towards any "far-off divine 
event " — his impetus cannot be spared in the conflict of forces 
which hurry us on. Quincy's fervent support of the non- 
resistance movement may be shown by an extract from a letter 
bearing upon the selection of one James Boyle as an agent of 



the Society. Mr. Boyle was suspected of advocating several 
u emancipations " which neither Abolitionists nor Non-Resist- 
ants could accept. The letter was written in 1839, and is 
addressed to his valued friend Miss Weston : — 

" We cannot afford to be too particular as to the. entire eligibility of 
our agents. If they are sincere Non-Resistants, fully imbued with the 
spirit and living it out in their lives and possessed of competent talents, 
it seems to me that we must gladly avail ourselves of their services, 
though we might wish them to be somewhat different from themselves 
in some particulars. What we want is a man or men who will startle 
the community, now dead in trespasses and sins from their living 
death. . . . And I am mistaken in the man if James Boyle will not 
sound a blast that will break the fat slumbers of the church and the 
iron sleep of the world and compel men to open their eyes to the light. 
He is perhaps the man most hated, next to Garrison, by the priests and 
professors of the soul-enslaving and sin-covering superstition which calls 
itself the religion of Christ ; and be assured, my dear sister, that the 
most hateful and odious man, hated and feared for his fearless denun- 
ciation of sin and exposure of iniquity, is the very man to give an im- 
pulse to our holy enterprise. He will doubtless bring down upon us all 
manner of" calumnies and slanderous misrepresentations, perhaps perse- 
cution, and make us more and more hateful for a season to the world ; 
but is not this the baptism with which our Lord was baptized, and 
which He ordained for the proof of his disciples in all ages ? " 

It is scarcely necessary to say that the complete freedom of 
woman was among the causes which commanded the entire 
sympathy of Edmund Quincy. But his expectation of the 
immediate advantage that would follow the removal of femi- 
nine restrictions appears to have been moderate. In 1840 he 
thus mitigates what may have been the larger hopes of the 
estimable lady to whom his letter was addressed : " We cannot 
expect the generation of women, any more than of slaves, that 
is first emancipated to attain as a generation to the full stat- 
ure of freedom. The habitudes of education, and the second 
nature of submission to the will of others, must keep many 
souls in a state of modified servitude." But while the attitude 
of this purifier of existing conditions in relation to non-resist- 
ance, woman suffrage, and total abstinence awakened little 
more than an amused smile from his former associates, his 
advocac}^ of the disunion sentiments of the Abolitionists 
called forth contempt and abuse. Yet his father had been 


before him in proclaiming not dissimilar convictions when 
Southern leaders won their first great triumph by pushing 
aside the organic charter of our government and delegating to 
a passing Congress the right to fortify slavery by the creation 
of new states. I have elsewhere claimed that the father's 
protest was far-sighted and on the lines of liberty and good 
morals. He perceived, if dimly and imperfectly, the disasters 
that must follow the unconstitutional strengthening of an 
institution believed to be on its way to extinction when the 
compact which formed the union went into effect. He recognized 
duties to mankind which must take precedence of any ter- 
ritorial aggrandizement — if indeed this was to be had only at 
their expense. 1 Such being the case, it is not for me to blame 
the son for meeting the continued encroachments of slavery 
in the same spirit, if at this later date it seemed to him the 
righteous remonstrance. The Legislature of Massachusetts 
passed resolutions looking to a dissolution of the Union in 
case the Southern institution should be extended over new 
lands. But the interlacing of selfish interests will always 
bind most of us to such governmental arrangements as we find 

Contrasting the sentiments of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence with the increasing efforts to nationalize slavery, the 
Abolitionists proclaimed " the irrepressible conflict " after- 
wards recognized by Seward and -Lincoln. Their language 
came hot with feeling ; it was vivid, strong, concise. They 
shared the belief, put into words by John Quincy Adams, and 
long kept standing on the first page of the "Liberator": 
" The preservation, propagation, and perpetuation of slavery 
has been the vital and animating principle of the National 
Government." It seemed to them to follow, in the language 
of one prominent in their counse